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Guest Blogger: Jason Helopoulos

My dear bride and I have been married for sixteen years. We have learned a great deal over those years together. What was a rocky beginning has become a sweet and glorious union. There is seldom a day that goes by that I don’t thank the Lord for my wife. Our marriage isn’t perfect, because neither of us within this marriage is perfect (though she is surely closer to perfection than me). However, I can say by the grace and mercy of God that we have a good marriage. There are different lessons that we have learned over the past sixteen years. Some were more painful to learn than others and some are lessons that we will need to continually grow in. There are many who read this blog and have been married longer than us. No doubt, you have more wisdom to offer on this subject then me. I would welcome your thoughts in the comments below. As a pastor, who has counseled many couples, and as a veteran of sixteen years of marriage, I have found that these ten personalities have no place in Christian marriage:

  1. Secret Agent: We can’t have secret expectations. Our spouse needs to know and we need to give voice to our expectations within the marriage relationship. It isn’t fair or even wise to keep these thoughts from our spouses. They need to know. If we aren’t willing to give expression to an expectation, than it shouldn’t be one. In truth, we are often reluctant to share these silent expectations, because once we hear them uttered from our mouths we realize how petty and unnecessary they are.
  1. Debater: Debates are good in politics, the classroom, and at the water cooler. They aren’t helpful in marriage. Never argue for the sake of arguing in your marriage. Don’t debate to win a point, a round, or a plan. It is a lose-lose proposition. Be willing to discuss and disagree, but never debate.
  1. Warrior: Our conflict is not with our spouse. Our battle is not “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Our spouse is never to be viewed as our adversary and neither are we to be viewed their adversary. We are united together in Christ to wage this good fight alongside each other, not against one another. I am not her enemy and she is not mine. We are compatriots and fellow soldiers linked arm and arm waging battle with evil as our Lord Jesus leads us in this good and holy fight. Let us “stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24) and not against one another.
  1. Mommy/Daddy Me: Most of us love being parents, but this cannot supersede our first calling as a husband or wife. It is a grievous mistake to place our children over our marriage relationship. If our marriage is suffering, our kids are suffering. If our marriage is thriving, the blessings cascade down upon our children like the oil poured out upon Aaron’s head and running down his beard (Psalm 133). It is like the dew of Hermon which falls on the mountains of Zion–it gives life.
  1. Finger-Pointer: Our wife’s sin is not just her issue “to get over.” Neither are our husband’s sins purely his struggles “to get past.” We are united together. We are one flesh (Gen.2:24). God has given us one another to walk the path of righteousness hand-in-hand. Let us “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
  1. Holy Spirit Impostor: One of the great traps of Christian marriage is being more concerned about my spouse’s spiritual state than my own. It is a kind of super-spirituality that comes in the guise of love and righteousness, when it is anything but. Rather, it smacks of hypocrisy. We are not the Holy Spirit and we are not our spouse’s conscience. It is far too easy to be distracted from our own responsibilities when we have our target fixed on another.
  1. Milquetoast: Loving and appreciating grace does not mean avoiding all hard things in marriage. Some Christian husbands and wives are confined by the false belief that being grace-centered means avoiding all conflict, disagreement, and confrontation. We are “grace people,” and sometimes the greatest manifestation of that grace is the willingness to breech hard subjects and wade through difficult issues. A gracious spouse will speak the truth, always in love, but will speak the truth (Eph. 4:12) for the betterment of their spouse and their marriage to the glory of God.
  1. Accuser: Things forgiven in the past are not weapons to be wielded in the present. It doesn’t matter whether they were sins or errors committed before the marriage or after the wedding vows were taken. It doesn’t matter whether they were particular sins committed against us or someone else. Forgiven matters are forgiven. Are there consequences? Sure. May we need to discuss these things in counseling or pray about them together? Yes. But they are not a sledge-hammer to be used in times of disagreement, an example to use for the sake of argumentation, nor a thought to hold our spouse captive to our wishes. They have been buried in a deep chasm and sealed with our forgiveness by the grace of God. There they are to remain, unless they need to be brought forth and never as something to hold over the head of the other.
  1. Me Monster: “Love does not insist on its own way” (1 Cor. 13:5). We must not seek our own interests first. If we are both pursuing the other’s interests than both of our needs are met, not begrudgingly, but willingly.
  1. Dictator: Christian marriage is not to be domineered by one spouse or the other. The husband is the head of the marriage union (Eph. 5), but he is not its king. Both the husband and the wife serve one single King. He dictates the rules, character, and purpose for this relationship. Whether our inclination is to seek control of the marriage by force or passive aggressive silence, it is wrong. We are not try and dominate where we have no right. Ultimately, this marriage is not “ours” to do with it what we will. It is His. It falls within His dominion and we both serve His Kingdom, not our own. Our marriage is to be a living breathing earthly sign pointing to the reality of Christ’s union with the Church (Eph. 5). This is what is to dominate, dictate, and rule our marriages: the glory of Christ our exalted Head, King, and Bride-Groom. Not us. What a glorious thing Christian marriage is!

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42 thoughts on “10 Personalities that Have No Place in Christian Marriage”

  1. Melody says:

    Thanks for this post! I’m getting married in three months and most of the christian blog posts I see about marriage are all about how it’s doomed from the get go because we’re sinners and that while marriage is a good gift from God, we’re going to be miserable o_o

    So, I’m glad to see that your marriage has just gotten better over time and I’m glad to see some practice advice on having a good marriage! My fiance and I have a great relationship, but I did see a couple of those personalities that I need to work on. So thanks!

  2. Z. Bartels says:

    I think you mean “milquetoast.” heh.

  3. Jason Helopoulos says:

    Thank you, Zach.

  4. Flyaway says:

    My husband and I will celebrate our 49th anniversary in August. I think you pretty much covered everything I can think of. What has helped me more than anything is to spend time in prayer for us every day. As I’m reading through the Bible a verse will pop out at me and I will make it into a prayer and put our names in it. I also have purchased several books on prayers for your marriage, husband, etc and I pray all those prayers as well. Every day I pray that God will fill me with love and forgiveness for my husband, and that God will do the same for him. I ask for wisdom and good conversations and for God to guide our steps also. I have asked for healing for our marriage and for God to help us to have a happy marriage. We still have some hot button issues but since the kids left home,and the dog died things have been a little more peaceful, and a little less stressed. It’s believing that God loves you and wants the best for you. It’s believing, so as long as your spouse is top side, and hasn’t left you, that he or she loves you, and wants the best for you. It’s surrendering all to God. I will tell my husband my opinion about decisions we make but then if he decides to do something that I think is unwise I accept it. God has bailed us out of some very unwise decisions that both of us have made. We are slow learners. I tend to be compliant and my husband tends to be strong willed. I have to push myself to be a little more assertive and he has to hold himself back. I have to be wise in picking my battles as I don’t have as much energy as my husband has. Many things are just not worth fighting over. But most of all it’s by God’s grace that we have held our marriage together all these years!

  5. Karen T. says:

    What about when a spouse has a problem with something going on or not going on in the marriage and the other spouse is unwilling to address it, in fact, even responds in anger. i lived with that for over 30 years. a few years ago the light went on for my husband and he is now sorry and has made some changes. but a lot of damage has been done and many years wasted.

  6. Linda says:

    I was married for 18 years, then my husband left me for another woman. As I read down over this list, I can see traits that contributed to the demise of my marriage. I had hidden expectations and often acted like a Holy Spirit imposter. My ex put his own needs first and was a finger pointer and an accuser. When we did go for counseling, he brought up things I had done early in the marriage and he’d held a grudge all those years. My expectations caused me to be unhappy and I took it out through passive-aggressive behavior. I felt like I was the spiritual leader of the house because he wasn’t as spiritually mature as I was, but I didn’t let the Holy Spirit work…I just took over. So my advice to anyone reading this article is to heed the solid words of advice it contains to improve and possibly save your marriage.

  7. Ellen says:

    Great article, but might there be a better word than”personality”? The reason that bothers me a little because the title implies that there are certain people who shouldn’t enter into marriage with another believer because they are disqualified by their personalities. I think I could potentially be guilty of any one of these as could most of us, but none of them could be my personality.

  8. Lorraine says:

    I’m sixty-four and four months of age: single (never married), no children. I had a career ’till I was in my mid forties – then my body, soul, mind, and spirit crashed. Life since that time goes on but each and every moment of any given day is a struggle. My best friend is my dog (HONEY, Service dog RIP) and now Bela.

    My parents on the other hand married at 18 and 19 years of age during WWII. They eloped. They gave all appearances of being a happily married couple at 25 yrs. 30, 40, 50, 60, 65,.. However, in the last year(s) of their (once my Mom had a stroke that left her aphasic), I saw my dad falling out of love and ultimately not be in love with my mom the last year of his life. He stayed. He provided food, clothing and shelter…. Dad died 3/14/2011, 9 days after his five years younger brother. Dad was my hero. He could to anything and everything. So was Mom. Life long learners and caring people for each other and for others but their kids?

    As I see it they should have never married. Dad was the quiet controlling “provider”. Mom has never grown up beyond the age of two yet. She was his queen and he was her king. There are good reasons in their family of origins for their problems. But the even more good reasons that life didn’t have to be the way it was. Family secrets kept the immediate family from getting good counseling and mentoring.

    I weep at time. I love working with all children. I love working with the elderly. I just never learned how to make friends among people my own age. It is lonely – very lonely.

    I’m not complain – just stating the facts. Life goes on though difficult for me yet I look for ways to care and serve, share the gospel and disciple…. I live because He has work for me to find and do, but I long for eternity when everything will be made right.

  9. Casey says:

    I appreciate Ellen’s point that ‘personality’ implies certain people are disqualified. Maybe that is true and good for another blog post. Just reading the title already had me discouraged, being perpetually single now into late 30’s and no shortage of personal issues that seem to scream ‘you are not worth that blessing. God knows it, you know it and so does everyone else.’ thankfully only the first one resonated the most.

  10. Open up your eyes says:

    My oh my, isn’t your life so perfect as you compare your life to everyone elses that you think is wrong! All this article says to me is ‘you can’t be like this, and you can’t be like that’ which defeats the whole purpose of being authentic. I understand that you don’t want to have someone hurt you or are afraid of things not working out in marriage, but seriously you need a reality check! You need to understand that you are taking someone elses problem (from people you observed) and labeling certain things about those people! You may even be AVOIDING certain problems so you don’t have to deal with the real person inside (meaning your spouse or you). How dare you manipulate the world the way you want it to be. God has told us not to judge in this world. What this world needs is for Christians to love others the way they are and encourage them to come to God, not give answers they know nothing about except by JUDGING others so they get the credit! 16 years of being a Veteran?! Seriously?! Wow…is all I gotta say is wow. This is why people don’t like certain Christians, because Christians are supposed to have an authentic marriage not a don’t do this and don’t do that marriage! Theres something called unconditional love! Get a grip on what reality really is like and not some made up idea out of your own head and think your so smart. And no this isn’t from God, this idea in this article is solely from you.

  11. Don't gripe says:

    Open Your Eyes, this was meant as good advice, not a do or don’t list. He is using scripture and actual things that exist in marriages today to explain different personality traits that could lead to a rocky marriage. I don’t see the point in heckling the guy when he is just saying something from the heart. We are supposed to sharpen each other’s minds, spirits, and give encouragement. This was very encouraging to me and I feel like you are negating his marriage and placing your holiness above his. He is not saying he does any one of these perfectly, as stated in the very first paragraph. If you are willing to tell others to speak in love, and to love as Christ did, you aren’t exactly doing right by scolding someone with snide uses of sarcasm and spite. If you are going to do that, then you are not living by your own words, and by fault, a hypocrite. If you are going to let lose on someone you think is defaming Christianity (which he isn’t, he’s just saying that there are particular things within a marriage that will make it hard to keep it healthy) then it would be a better idea to not use the language and anger in your writing that you did. Truth is truth, let it convict you. These kinds of people do exist in marriages, and writing them out gives you a better definition and clear example of when you may need to speak to your spouse, pray, or even get some counseling. You had no place blasting him for what he felt nudged by the spirit to say. Anger has no place in replying to what anyone ever says. He did not speak out of anger or resentment, but out of caution and love. You did not. I would focus upon how you are reflecting your own walk before you vehemently blast a blogger who is looking out for others. I will be praying that your anger is relented and that you will find better ways to correct others. I care about all of God’s people, and I hope that you realize that, and take what I have said to heart. I care about you, and will be praying.

  12. Katie says:

    Personalities are a direct result of the the environment and its interaction with an individual’s inherent temperament, so I guess people with these types of personalities just can’t get married since they’re not good enough for another people and need to change for the sake of being accepted by the Christian community.

  13. Chris says:

    Hi Kate,
    I took the term personalities to mean “personality traits”. I don’t think he’s saying anybody shouldn’t marry. He’s saying, if you want your marriage to grow and get better and better, identify this traits in yourself, and with God’s help remove them.

    Another way to look at it is that marriage is like a garden. Although there are some beautiful seeds that will yield great fruit, there are also weeds that want to choke the life out before they have a chance to grow. These personality traits the author mentions are like weeds that will choke the sweetness and love out of your marriage, so we are wise to get rid of them for our and our spouses benefits.

  14. Barb says:

    Great article! We’ve been married 43 years–love, love love marriage! Love my Bob, our family, our life! God has been abundantly good to us–undeserved and great grace! All I wanted add is that all children of God and therefore all their marriages will face trials that will break them and restore them in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The grace and forgiveness we receive through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we freely give to one another and our marriages thrive. I value my husband, I love the way he thinks (nothing like me), I love his generosity, his wit, his tender heart and his love for knowledge of all things, especially God. Add to that, he values me–the way I think, the way I do stuff. I don’t have the right words to say this, but he gives me the freedom to say and do things that i am passionate about, and it usually means a sacrifice to him. We struggled through variations of all 10 of the above unwanted personalities, but they were the Lord’s furnace that refined our faith and strengthened our love, first for Him and for each other.

  15. candice says:

    I read your comment and wanted to let you know I’m praying for you. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot and you’ve felt alone a times. Loneliness is a tough struggle and I pray that you lean on Christ when you feel alone. Are you involved with a church body where you can serve and be served by brothers and sisters? If not I’m praying our gracious father will provide some community for you.
    As for your dog, I have two and they truly are a blessing!
    Best regards,

  16. candice says:

    Lastly, not that a good debate about truth and application is not good one in a while, but when it distracts us from seeing and serving those in need we need to refocus on Jesus and his people. Lorraine, commented on her struggles and loneliness and nobody bothered to encourage or reach out to her. Yet, some kept on debating about the article while missing a chance to live out the gospel. Praying for all of us to be more aware and sensitive to the needy and less distracted by the lesser things.

  17. anne says:

    I wish I knew what to do in my marriage of 12 years. My husband has become very controlling and trusts no one. I can not go away alone without him. I can not go to church unless he takes me which is less than 5 times a year. I must go along with all he thinks or says or I am unloyal him. I may not take receipt from a cashier when he pays because I show him disrespect when I do. I have to switch dentists again because they did not say hello to him. And the list goes on. :( Some days I want to run far away.

  18. Modballfaith says:

    Dear Anne,
    Pray, and keep on praying, and when you think you can’t pray any more go do te dishes and talk to God about how you feel. He hears you He knows your situation, he knows your husband. My friend had some of the same things happen and my mom has similar problems. Go through psalms and just pray for him. Don’t stop, it gets hard but he hears you like the parable of the judge and the woman who kept coming and asking the judge to give her what she needed. You are deeply loved sweetie.

    Hang in their girl!! I’m in my twenties and I felt the past years were lonely and made some deep mistakes. You are never alone, Jesus yoke is easy and his burden is light. Pray for peace about the situation, and go on a missions trip meet some new people impact some lives! You may still feel lonely but it’s a little harder when you are surrounded by people that feel exactly the same way. :) one step at a time. Praying God will give you sweet sweet peace in your heart.

    P.s. If this post is ever reported elsewhere, it might be a good idea to change the title about “personality” to traits because it does sound like the ten people who should get married are xxx. But it totally made better sense after I read the whole thing. :)

  19. Dhagz says:

    Wow! This helps our marriage! Thanks a lot. :)

  20. Fala says:

    I’m also in my 60’s and never been married. My parents marriage was like anne describes with her husband. I definitely and totally did not want that. I have grown now as a Christian, and I also realize that my mom probably (99.44% sure) has narcissistic personality disorder. In one way my dad is my hero, because he is the greatest example of dying to self that I ever saw. He had to die to everything he ever wanted, even simple things like watching a movie to stay married to my mom. But on the other hand he totally abdicated being head of household and father to us. He never talked to me until he was retired, and we could never have a relationship without mom inserting herself into it. Everything was always about her. I only gave up trying to win her affection a little over 10 years ago, and it has left scars such as lorraine described. I have prayed about this but nothing seems to have changed. God, after all is not our butler; He does whatever pleases Him, so prayer does not always change things. It has changed me, however. But I think if I was anne I would live separately until my husband could admit that he had a problem. My mother’s main mantra was always “There is nothing wrong with me” but she greatly damaged our family.

  21. Fala says:

    p.s. I really liked this post. I’m thinking of writing these 10 things up for a little friend of mine who will marry soon. As for the use of the word “personality” I was also expecting to read about personality types (like NPD, for example) but obviously the author did not mean that. I don’t have a substitute word.
    Also – these points are good advice in any relationship. I have a difficult roommate right now and think that the problem might get better if we could shed some of these “personalities” . . .

  22. Maggie says:

    This article makes a lot of sense if both parties are Christian. I was converted after I was married and my husband is a hardened atheist ridiculing of God. There is rarely practical advice offered for a Christian in this situation.

  23. Dev says:

    I think marriage is the loneliest place in the world. I’d rather be alone than married:) I am in a marriage now and have been married for 28 years. Early in my marriage he told me he didn’t want to hear about emotions and that I should talk to my friends about that. I worked very hard on myself for 20 years to be a good wife and improve my marriage but it was always me moving toward relation and him just physical. He often told me that “no one in the world would ever put up with me” but I know better now. I am a Christian and I love The Lord but my husband and “his church” have always used their faith to put me down. That’s not what god intended. I am gods child and I will never let anyone take that from me.

  24. JOEY SAMUELS says:

    Commenting on “Ellen says: <<>> June 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm:
    Ellen, I too believe we are not incarcerated to become of what we did or could do….rather, those things are TENDENCIES we have, and by our decision we could fight off these tendencies or we could forget to summon prayers and the grace of God….we potentially lose that battle, and we instead yield to the tendencies to perform inappropriately… Since we have the potential to salvage, the will to recover and fly straight, in the end these exigencies are just that (bumps in the road), so we should not own them as our personalities. We should fight to extract ourselves from the acts so the acts don’t repeat enough to define us….and that we don’t ultimately become that person or wrongdoing. Live well, be well in Christ.

  25. JOEY SAMUELS says:

    Casey, thanks for the insight –
    Please help us understand “thankfully only the first one resonated the most”

  26. Amanda says:

    I too thought the article would be different because of the title. But, because of the title, I read it. So good job! These traits have been present in my marriage. Thankfully and unfortunately my husband and I went through a really hard time last year. Wounds are still being healed but by His stripes we are healed. I praise God for the hard times and now I praise him for the really good times. Through the last year and half we’ve really learned more about love and God’s love and definitely God’s grace. I know now why Paul said it’s better to not marry at all because it is easy to be more concerned with your spouse’s salvation more than your own. And it’s easy to hurt one another and to be hurt. Thank you for sharing your insight by using your life experiences as examples, which I could tell you’re speaking from experience. I’ve been married almost 12 years (in August) and it’s starting to get better and better. One thing about marriage for others to remember is that it is God-ordained and he will give you the wisdom, the strength and the patience to get through the tough times. I remember my vows well: for better and for worse, in richer and in poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as we both shall live. It would’ve been much easier to just leave last year but I went to God instead and he gave Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” And, he fought for me and he softened my heart towards my husband and he gave me the ability to forgive. For those in a hard marriage, go to God, every single second, minute, hour, day, week, month, or year. How ever often you have to in order to love your husband because it’s hard. The hardest thing I have ever done is get married and then forgive my spouse. God calls us to stay committed to our spouses. Even when our spouse in not a Christian. (Look up 1 Corinthians, not sure of the chapter but found this blog post when I was looking for it – God has given us a manual that we should all read more, guilty of not reading it! If your husband is being abusive, that is entirely different and seeking help is very important, especially if your life is in danger. Marriage is tough when both people love each other and God deeply! I can’t imagine a spouse who doesn’t believe or worship God. For those of you lonely and not married. Sometimes I envy your singleness since I have to consider my spouse when I make plans with my girls or when I spend money or when I’m trying to figure out what to cook at night. But on the flip side, I can understand the loneliness you feel. For a few years before all hell broke loose last year I felt very lonely in my marriage. God was such a comfort to me during those years. He was who I ran to and told all my problems to and who guided me and strengthened me. It is good to have friends though. I know at my church we have small groups that help us get to know each other better in a Bible Study usually once a week. Maybe see what your church has to offer in that way. It’s a great way to make friends. Sometimes you have to be a friend to make friends and put yourself out there. Thanks again for the great blog post.

  27. Albert says:

    We are constantly told not to bring up events from the past. But what should one do when past transgressions have never, ever been truly repented for? “Oh, I’m sorry if I made you unhappy / angry ” is not repentance, it is like a politician saying “Mistakes were made”.

    How should one attempt to forgive the unrepentant, who continue in the same sin for years?

  28. Pat says:

    My wonderful (but far from perfect, lol) husband and I have been married for a little over 27 years; we were together for an additional 5 (horrible) years “pre-Christ”. We’ve been through some really tough times, times when the door (and that dreaded “D” word) looked really, really good. But we are experiencing a kind of “revival” lately, thanks to God’s work in each of us (yes, we are notoriously slow-learners). I look forward to the next 27 years together with great anticipation. :)

    You have pretty much nailed it in this post. The only thing I would add is that no one can ace the lessons they’ll need to learn by simply reading even such a helpful and insightful list as this. What you are describing is a practical and unconditional love that puts (unselfishly) someone else’s interests first. This kind of love for a spouse (described so eloquently in 1 Corinthians 13) can only be developed as one really learns how utterly unlovely and unworthy s/he is–and that (in spite of that unworthiness) s/he is a recipient of the rich and unconditional love of God through the Savior. It is a sweet humbling work that only God’s Holy Spirit can complete in us as we seek Him in earnest. Prayerful, Scripture-informed meditation upon such helpful material as you present here is certainly a very good use of one’s time. Thank you.

  29. Flyaway says:

    Albert–That is a tough one. I think of Christ on the cross when He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” I think of Corrie Ten Boom who knew that she had to shake hands with the guard who had abused her when she was in the concentration camp, and forgive him after the war, because the guard had become a Christian ,and had repented. If a Christian has sinned against you you should go directly to them and tell them how you were offended. If they don’t repent or admit they have sinned against you all you can do is pray for them and trust God to convict them of their sin. But you must let the bitterness go and forgive them anyway. If they are not a Christian pray that God will get ahold of their heart and trust God that He will take vengeance at the proper time. But again you must pray for Jesus to help you forgive them. We are to love our enemies and pray for them. You could ask God to help you love the person even though they are unkind to you. Of course if they aren’t a relative you can distance yourself from them! My mother-in-law wasn’t a Christian and she constantly criticized me. I prayed that God would help me to love her. He showed me that I did love her when one time she fainted and I thought she was going to die. I became very upset and grieved that she hadn’t received Christ. At the end of her life her caregiver led her to the Lord 6 weeks before she died.

  30. Korinna says:

    This article was very encouraging!! Thank you!! I’ve been married for 3 months now and I can’t figure out why I feel that we are so much worse off than before we got married. I feel like all we do is fight. My husband told me he can’t stand me last night. And I am definitely not innocent myself! This gives me hope and shows me the areas I definitely need to improve on.

  31. Sheila says:

    Anne, what you have described is typical of an abusive relationship. Please seek some outside help. I don’t know where you live, but there are organisations such as Woman’s Aid that you can contact. And there are Christian marriage supports available-have a look online for something in your area. You need to have someone who can help you through this. This is not a loving and supportive relationship where both partners can grow and flourish with the encouragement of the other. Praying for you. Blessings, Sheila

  32. Ashley says:

    Your post reminded me of a ministry I’ve heard about called mismatched and thriving run by Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller. They are both in marriages with unbelievers. They have shared their testimonies on Focus on the Family, and they are very powerful. Just wanted to suggest some resources from people who love The Lord and are in a similar position. In my own life, I can point to a number of women in the churches I’ve been involved in that battle this struggle, and I can say from watching them that often their willingness to let the Holy Spirit work in the hardest of situations has produced in them the fruit of righteousness that I’ve been able to look up to and yearn for in my own life even though I don’t share that struggle. Our sufferings are always privileges and known well to God, and He designs then and wants to use them for our good and His glory. I have found this out the hard way several times including last night as I threw myself a pity party while my husband rightly explained the obvious way my current struggle was an opportunity and blessing. I love you as a fellow believer, and I sincerely hope you can find counsel that will help. I pray God will turn things around for you:)


  33. Casey says:

    In response to Joey:
    Sure, no problem. I meant that the first ‘personality’ was most familiar to me personally, that is, having expectations that may lie unspoken. Mind you, I’m single, so my assessment of all this is very limited. Thanks for the follow up question.

  34. Jay says:

    I also think that there is one other trait, and maybe it does go hand in hand with the first one (Hidden Expectations). Maybe it’s the “compliment” to it. That is the trait of someone that knows the expectations of their spouse for a long time (months or years. Perhaps from the beginning of the marriage), doesn’t want to meet them, and springs this on the expectant spouse at some time in the future. Or perhaps at one time did agree to meeting them tegether, yet decides later that it isn’t what they wanted, waits until some future time, then simply states in effect, “nope, don’t want to do that”. THis could be with a planned move, an investment/asset that was agreed to hold for a certain number of years, then sell to pay off a mortgage, or anything else.

  35. Patrick G Hogan says:

    Basically, Kevin, these are not “personalities”, but rather “positions” or what have you. A person cannot help their “personality” (in the short term anyway), but they can, prayerfully, with the Holy Spirit’s help, give up their ‘sacred’ position on numerous issues, to the betterment of both in the marriage.

  36. Annie says:

    Basically, Thank you for this article. I am in a marriage that has had some horrible issues. I am printing this I can pray that the Lord helps me to be what I am supposed to be and gives me ears to hear him in the midst of the spiritual warfare.

  37. I have been with my partner for 16 years and you learn to take the rough with the smooth.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I broke up with my girlfriend last 2 months due to many misunderstandings i was fighting so hard to get her back. none of her friends would give me any information about her. The only thing I could do was to go find help from anywhere, so i looked for a way to get her back then a friend recommended me to contact robinsonbuckler@yahoo. com that he will help me and as my friend said, Mr robinson helped me to bring back my girlfriend just in 3 days, I now have her back and this is the biggest joy of my life

  39. Eric says:

    Thank you for the helpful article. Nice job with the concise descriptions of traits in me that have no place in my marriage. I just have an editing note. I spotted twice that you used “than” instead of “then”. Not a huge deal. Just thought you should know. I could be wrong, but I believe both of these sentences should use “then”.

    If we aren’t willing to give expression to an expectation, than it shouldn’t be one.
    If we are both pursuing the other’s interests than both of our needs are met, not begrudgingly, but willingly.

  40. Bruce Meyer says:

    Hope this isn’t a picky thing, but these aren’t personalities. These are matters of Christian discipleship. However, discipleship, in the state that it’s in today, is pretty hit and miss. So it’s probably good to cover this stuff any way we can. “Got a sermon here on how to improve your marriage: it’s about loving your neighbor, turning the other cheek, praying for your enemies, telling the truth.” Maybe framing the teaching in psychology words and aimed at marriage enrichment will provoke a listening ear. I know I need to hear it often enough. Thank you for your work, and God bless you.

  41. Charlene says:

    Omg!!! Powerful needed to read this my marriage is at war with the enemy. ..

  42. foodforthought says:

    First, I would like to say that I am so glad your marriage is thriving, happy and healthy. That is truly a blessing and something to be grateful for. I think it is always important to recognize a good thing and to never be critical of someone else’s joy and good fortune.

    With that said, I have to say that I think the title of this blog is errounsly misplaced. These are personalities that should not be present in any healthy relationship whether the individuals profess to be Christians or not. I find it sad that people consider a Christian marriage superior than other marriages. There is so much more to a healthy, mature, committed relationship than it being a “Christian” one. I was married for 7 years, in a so called Christian marriage. It was full of pain, hardship and turmoil. I am not saying this was because it was a “Christian” marriage but because we never had any business getting married in the first place. We were not compatible or right for one another. I understand the Christian philosophy that God can make beauty from ashes abs heal what is broken. That as Christians we are to have agape love and love from our backbone. That marriage is designed to make us holy and more like Christ. That marriage is a covenant symbolic of Christ and his church. I am not denying that for some people this philosophy has a place and works for them. But, I believe that for others it can be tragic and treacherous. When Christians impose this thought on other Christians who are struggling in their marriage, this can be so harmful. I was living a hell that no one understood. None of my Christian friends could understand what I was going through because none of them had lived it. I was stuck in a loveless, controlling, accusatory marriage and I was literally dying from the inside out. For me there was no other option but to get out. For that choice I was looked down upon by so many. Told that I was missing out on God’s best for me. To that I now laugh abs sadly think, “you all are clueless, not understanding the realities of life.”

    I am by no means negating or downplaying a Christian marriage. There are those it works for, and there are others who are trapped in hell because they feel they need to fulfill what God supposedly has for them. I am now in a new relationship that I would not call a “Christian” one, simply for the fact that we do not hold to the full practices, beliefs of an Evangelical Christian. However, I can tell you that the 10 personalities listed in this blog are nowhere to be found in our relationship. We have a fullness of love, life and joy that I never remotely experienced in my “Christian” marriage. We are selfless toward one another, sacrificial and giving in our love. We have open, balanced and kind communication. We assume goodness in attentions and own the philosophy that love thinks no evil. I am by no means saying this is because we don’t have a “Christian” relationship. I am simply saying that the success of a relationship is about the two people in it, not about the title which is placed on it.

    Thank you.

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