Making relationships work
The Dating and Mating Game Is Not a Game
"A Rose by Any Other Name is Still a Rose"
Why I Decided to Become a Pastor
Where to Find Real Solutions to your Relationship Woes
More About Avoiding the Blame Game and Solving Your Problems
What the Clergy Gets Right and What They Don't Why Couples Argue
Myths of Marriage
Sex in Marriage – The Shocking Truth
How to Forgive and Forget
How to Apologize and Clear the Air with Dignity
Who Should I Marry? Courtship and Pre- Marriage Considerations
A Deeper Look Into Relationship Dynamics
Just How Important is Dad?
Marriage Counseling for Men
Men, Straighten Up and Fly Right
Are There No More Good Men Left
Can I Reconcile with My Husband, Wife, or Child?
How Do I Become More Forgiving?
Is Food Your Secret Lover and Enabler?
Pastor Roland Talks to Husbands and Dads
Dealing with Hard Times
My People Perish For Lack of Knowledge
Good Dads and Fathers – We Need Them More than Ever A Listener Asks
Adam & Eve: The First Dysfunctional Family
Recovery: Finding the Way Back from Naughty to Natural to Innocence
Coping with Manipulative and Controlling People
My Husband is Annoying
My Wife Asked Me to Move Out –What Should I Do?
Change and Trauma: the Legacy of the Human Race
A Mother's Lament - My Son Doesn't Listen to Me
Advice to Divorced Moms
What is the Number One Cause of Divorce?
My Wife Cheated on Me – Now What?
Finding the Best Marriage Advice – Trust Your God Given Instincts
Why Men Must Be Faithful and What to Do If You Have Cheated
The Strong Family—Ten Lessons in Faithfulness
Restoring Order in the Home and Nation via a Change of Heart
Relationships make the world go around. We love people and we hate them. We want to be around them and then we want to get away from them. We can't live with them, and we can't live without them.
And nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to dating, courtship, long term and short term relationships, partners and spouses.
First I want to say that all relationships start off with excitement and dreams of living happily ever after, and yet a large percentage end up as a living hell. Many of us saw our parents arguing and fighting and we hated it.
We were sure that our relationship would be different. But once we got involved with someone for awhile--sure enough, soon we were arguing—and we are lucky if it was merely arguing. Sad to say the daily newspapers are full of stories about arguments that turn into violence or even murder.
Something is wrong. If love turns into hatred, then it wasn't real love to start with. It proves that what most people think of as love is not really love at all.
Some relationships settle into long ones. Many appear happy and fulfilling on the surface. But the truth is that many are not. Something is still wrong. Each partner suffers--he in his way, and she in her way.
I remember when I was a boy, my mother had some good lady friends. I was surprised and shocked by what was said about their husbands. Each wife not only openly complained about and criticized her husband, but also stated that she was secretly unhappy and unfulfilled.
I was shocked because in private they seemed to have contempt for their husbands, and what was said in private was quite different than what was said when the husbands were present.
I also got to listen in to what the husbands said when, for example, the men would go fishing while the women did something else.
When I was with men, I heard a different story. The men were unaware of their wife's secret unhappiness or of their wife's secret contempt. The husbands thought that everything was basically okay with the marriage.
The men did admit that their wives never seemed to be satisfied. The wives always wanted something. They wanted him to lose weight, to stop smoking, get a better job (like some other friend's husband had), or go to church more. The wife wanted him to improve or change in some way.
The wives, according to the husbands, were apparently never satisfied. They wanted a bigger house, more furniture, a vacation, or something. But when she got it, she was still not satisfied with it. Nor was she satisfied with any self improvement he made. She always found something to disapprove of. Yet the husbands were not aware of their wife's secret unhappiness or that the wife was complaining about him behind his back.
The husband typically said that his wife was confusing, and he was at a loss as to what she wanted.
But like I said, for the most part, the men thought that the relationship was basically okay. Without trying to be rude, I must say (to use an old expression) the men were "fat, dumb and happy." They did not suspect the deep unhappiness their wives were feeling.
Occasionally one of the husbands or wives would privately remark that they were staying together "for the sake of the kids."
It seemed as though the wives were far unhappier with the husbands than vice versa. Somehow they wanted something from their husbands that they were not getting. The wives seemed to think that what was needed was better communication, intimacy and sharing that would make things right.
But their unhappiness and continued complaints no matter what their husband did proves that it was something deeper that they needed.
They could not put into words what they needed. But I can. And I will spell it out in this book.
Their husbands could not figure out what their partners wanted. They tried everything--from flowers to champagne and hot tubs for two—but nothing seemed to satisfy the wives.
I will tell you husbands later what they want, so keep reading.
Before continuing, I want those of you who are not married but are living together to pardon my frequent use of the terms "husband and wife." That's the way it was back then when I was a kid observing mom and dad and their friends. Things really were like the television shows Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver. For one thing—everyone was married. Things are a little different now. So I want to be more inclusive, and that is why you will see the term "relationships" and "partners" more frequently in this book than in my previous book.
Nevertheless, I still have to say that the formality of the marriage vows--binding two people together spiritually, emotionally, and civilly, with that commitment being made public and permanent for all to see--is still the gold standard.
Let's face it—if you really love someone, you want them to be committed and loyal to you permanently not temporarily. How do you feel if you find out your boy friend is dating someone else, or your girl friend is seeing someone else? What do you think of a husband who puts his wedding ring in his pocket when he is around someone interesting?
A permanent bond is what we want, at least at first.
When our "love" (which was not really love) turns to hate, we may then look for escape. But what do most of us do? We "escape" into another relationship (which we hope will give us the permanent fulfillment we crave).
Therefore, in this book I will use the term "marriage" to indicate a permanent loving bond.
But whether you call yours a marriage or a long term relationship, or whether you had it formalized or not, I will not quibble over terminology. This book is about love and about making relationships work, not about what you call them. This book is for everyone--married or not. So whether you are in a long term relationship, married, betrothed, getting into a relationship, just getting over one, or not in any relationship but are curious about the topic—welcome!
Later in the book I may address why, in the long run, a formal marriage arrangement provides emotional security for the woman and why it is a thing of honor that the man would be wise to consider. But for now, I just want those of you who are living together to understand that I'm not going to condemn you for it.
What is in the heart is more important than a piece of paper. I believe that in the long run, a formalized arrangement is good for the two of you, but if you see it differently, I respect your opinion and don't want to argue. Some of you are not yet sure about what to do, and might consider marriage if you thought it would be helpful. That's fair enough. Later in the book I will give you my side of the argument for your consideration.
But no matter what you call it, a relationship is a bond and there will be a bonding process involved. I can tell you right now that there is no such thing as just hooking up. You always take something from the other and give something. A little bit of them gets into you and vice versa. That is why promiscuity is destructive of character. And that is also why one man and one woman forever is a very positive thing.
Perhaps now you can see why something so powerful and potentially beautiful is fraught with danger and trouble if not handled properly.
Here's an analogy. When a chemist at a laboratory mixes chemicals together, he has to be careful and follow rules and procedures. Otherwise the whole thing could explode in his face.
When it comes to the joining together of two people, which involves not only physical union but also spiritual and, as we have seen, identity exchange—there must be rules and principles involved. These rules and principles would be for the protection of the people involved. The chemist in the laboratory does not think that the instructions and procedures are meant to restrict him. He knows they are meant to help and protect him.
Therefore, I am here to suggest that relationships, being a far more volatile combination than any chemical one, must have principles that govern the union in order to protect and vouchsafe a successful union.
And if what I have said is true, then a prudent woman or man would seek to determine what those principles are.
But what do most of us do? We jump into relationships with abandon. We take more care in buying a car then we do in choosing who we will bond with. And once we are in a relationship and things start to go wrong, we seem to be incapable of preventing them from getting worse and worse.
The latter is particularly troubling because despite our folly, many of us do manage to marry someone decent.
It is sad to see two basically good people, who are trying to make their marriage work, nevertheless get in trouble and don't know how to make things right.
Granted, sometimes getting older and wiser and basically growing up and maturing have a mellowing effect on people. A couple might fight like cats and dogs when they are young, but if they stay together long enough, the softening and chastening effect of life may help them to mellow and begin to appreciate each other.
However before we get too sentimental, it is also the case that many if not most long term marriages are also lives of secret unhappiness, unfinished business and hidden resentments. Often one side clams up and becomes suppressed; the other becomes dominant (and perhaps cruel). Sometimes both live separate lives, throwing themselves into work or community activities.
Don't get me wrong—there is nothing wrong with commitment to work or community. In fact, I think a good deal of separation—whether it's separate beds or separate work activities—helps prevent unwholesome closeness of the sticky enmeshing kind that makes you feel trapped. When both people are separately involved in wholesome productive activities, whether at home or the workplace, and both are growing and leading fulfilling lives, it is healthier and more liberating environment than being too close.
What I am saying is that buried hostility, hidden resentments, unfinished business, secret judgments and contempt, and undercurrents of anger are what ruin many marriages that appear made in heaven to the untrained observer.
But the kids know. Kids are very perceptive. They can tell when dad is angry underneath, and they sense mom's resentment and contempt for dad. They pick up on the secret unhappiness, and it troubles them and makes them unhappy too.
The other problem is that, as bad as marital resentment can be, divorce is usually even worse for the kids.
The biggest harm of broken relationships is the effect on the kids. Societal and financial ruin pale in comparison to the devastation of divorce on the kids.
Obviously I am talking about two basically decent people. If one of the partners is a drug addict, violent, a criminal or an abuser, then separation from such a person is usually prudent to protect the safety of the children.
But like I said, I have seen too many basically decent people who have built a life and a family together divorce over minor misunderstandings and a build up of resentment.
Sometimes they just hope to improve their relationship but then fall into the hands of some marriage and family therapist who makes things worse or even encourages divorce.
Divorce is not the answer to squabbling or marital unhappiness. Some couples think it would be better to divorce so that the kids won't see them arguing. Kids would rather see mom and dad squabbling than separating.
Why divorce is so hurtful to the kids I will leave for you to discover as you read this book.
Perhaps the basic theme of what I have been saying should be stated as a way of introducing the rest of the book. It is this. Marriage is more than two animals copulating, and it is more than just a living arrangement for the convenience of two selfish egos. It is physical, emotional, communal, and above spiritual. Humans have souls. A marriage is the coming together of two souls.
If the Creator made laws to govern nature, then He must have also made rules to govern human conduct.
And He must have made principles concerning the union and bonding of human beings. It says somewhere in the Bible that "what is seen is made by what is unseen." The principles are spiritual, and not observable. But the results of violating or ignoring them are very observable. Just look at the devastation and unhappiness all around us.
None of us starts out wanting to violate delicate principles to ruin our relationship. We all start off with the hope of happiness. But what has happened is that we are unaware of the principles.
We are ignorant of them because we have been mis-educated and kept in the dark. Our leaders and educators, those who are supposed to know, are also often woefully unaware or themselves mis-educated about what makes relationships work.
Those around us--such as our parents, colleagues, friends, and the so called experts--are also often ignorant of important principles. Some of them are even in denial about God and about the fact that humans have souls.
For example, if an educator, college instructor, writer or counselor thinks that we are just evolved apes, that sex is just two animals copulating, and that marriage is a mere social convention—how can he or she possibly teach or project a spiritual approach to marriage?
Fortunately, many ministers and church people still generally say the right things. They talk about moral principles, purity, abstinence, waiting until marriage to consummate the marriage, and about avoiding divorce. Though some of them waiver in order to be popular or politically correct, nevertheless they have the Scriptures and a tradition of moral living and family values which they usually refer to.
I have to say that much of their advice about pre-marriage—dating, courtship and engagement--is generally quite good. For example, they talk about the dangers of causal dating and the devastation of promiscuous sex. They point out the benefits of purity, of abstinence and of waiting until marriage.
Some churches also have some excellent pre marriage workshops and seminars that help young couples think about marriage, about really getting to know the other person before getting too involved, and about carefully determining what your values and the other person's values really are before taking the big step of getting married.
As good and helpful as these messages could be, the church has two things working against it. First, the secular popular culture teaches just the opposite by word, deed, and implication. Don't forget that among Christians, over 90% send their kids to secular public schools. Then when their kids take drugs, have promiscuous sex, and become worldly, the parents scratch their heads and can't figure out what went wrong. They don't get it.
If you, as a parent, transfer your authority to someone else who operates in a secular institution that forbids teaching religious values, and if you leave your kids there 5 days a week 7 hours a day, for 12 years--then what do you expect?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there are not some decent moral teachers in public schools, nor am I suggesting that kids be indoctrinated with Christianity, or for that matter Communism, Darwinism, socialism, or any other ism.
What I am saying is that the secular culture is at best somewhat confusing and amoral, and generally tends to be anti religious in its orientation. That's just the way it is.
The other thing that the church has working against it is the types of people whose rhetoric and rigidity give Christianity a bad name. The old fashioned hell fire and brimstone style preachers try to scare people and play upon their fears. These types do more harm than good.
Though they may even be saying the right things, their rigidity, their self righteousness and unfortunately, their hypocrisy make them despicable and not credible.
But lest you think I am picking on the church or the clergy, I wish to remind you that I am an ordained minister. My hope is that I can speak the truth without wavering, with firm conviction but in humility and without emotionalism. My hope is that my writings will help awaken you, so that you can see for yourself what is true. I do not wish to push any dogma on you. My goal is to awaken you to realize. By talking about spiritual principles, I may remind you of them, and perhaps my words will help you to see that they do exist and that they might be of help to you.
I also don't want people to put me on a pedestal, nor do I want them to accept what I say because I have a title or degree.
For over twenty years I spoke and wrote without reference to title or degree. Although I already had a couple of degrees, I did not mention them. If anything I say is true, it should be self evident, and it should conform to what you see intuitively is right. It should conform to common sense. If it is true, it is not because I say so or because I have a title or degree, but because it is so.
Therefore I wanted to avoid someone believing something I said because of "the white coat syndrome."
The while coat syndrome refers to the fact that many people will believe what some someone says because they are influenced by a white coat and a stethoscope around the neck.
If I had on clergy clothes and a couple of degrees framed on the wall, some people would be hypnotized by the clothes and the degrees. They would accept what I said mindlessly, not because they see for themselves but because they are influenced by the religious garb and degree on the wall.
On the other hand, many people (far more than you would suspect) who have had bad experiences with religious types, would have an aversion and react against me because of their prior negative experiences with religious authorities. They would react emotionally against the title of pastor even though I am nothing like the religious types they knew before.
This would make it difficult or impossible to hear the message I bring because their emotional reaction would get in the way.
These people have come in contact with wicked and hypocritical people who hid behind religion or some other title in order to pressure and confuse others.
In fact, Satan sometimes does his greatest damage by having his agents in the church. These wolves in sheep's clothing do much harm and cause decent people to develop an aversion or even a hatred of religion.
So I remained a layperson and simply wrote and talked about some of the things that I see. I have never pressured anyone to believe or accept me or what I say.
However, I began to see that many people do look to the clergy for some sort of guidance. When they get into a tight spot, they would like to talk to a pastor.
I also began to see how woefully and pitifully weak the clergy sometimes is when it comes to helping with the mental health, emotional, and relationship issues that people are dealing with in real life.
For example, when it comes to helping with such issues as: depression, anxiety, and stress, I also saw how weak most clergy and Christian counselors are when it comes to the reliance on psychiatric meds. Many of them simply buy into the biomedical model, the so-called "chemical imbalance" in the brain theory. They read it somewhere or saw it in a pharmaceutical ad.
Those who aren't sure nevertheless take a back seat to psychiatrists or psychologists. The once queen of science, theology, plays second fiddle to the Godless pseudoscience of psychiatry.
Many clergy and ambitious Christians study psychology and get degrees so as to fit into the system, get positions of power, and lord it over others with the pompous jargon of the day. They study and then actually spout the flavor of the day theory and confuse and betray their parishioners or those who seek their help by selling them out.
Others strongly suspect that the chemical theory is not based in solid science, but they remain mute out of fear of being politically incorrect or being labeled as old fashioned.
I will never forget what a caring advocate, who helps returning soldiers and veterans, said. In lamenting the multiple psychiatric meds that troubled soldiers are routinely put on, he said "you cannot medicate a moral dilemma or ethical crisis away."
The phrase "you cannot medicate a moral dilemma away" made me take note. Many of our soldiers have seen things in battle that no one should have to witness.
Many of them have been betrayed, used, lied to, and asked to do things that they begin to question the morality of. In short they are troubled by what they did and troubled by what they saw.
They are troubled in the spirit and are doing some soul searching. They need thoughtful guidance, wise counsel, and time to work through some of the issues they are pondering deeply. Instead they are given a diagnosis and almost always prescribed psychiatric meds, and more often than not, multiple ones. I, like the caring advocate I heard, see something wrong with this.
How sad it is when these troubled souls are sold out by the spiritual caregivers they hoped would have spiritual, moral and ethical answers for them.
I came to see that a shocking percentage of those in the church who give advice are themselves weak, misguided and confused.
I decided that becoming a pastor might help in making me available to those who might be looking for spiritual answers.
At least it would give me a platform so that some people might lend me their ear. Then they might be gratified to hear someone with understanding of basic human spiritual needs. I also reasoned that an advanced degree in psychology would bring me up to date on the latest theories and totally familiar with terminology and current practices so I could relate better to what people who seek my help have been told about their issue and what type of help they have been receiving.
That, in a nutshell, is how I came about deciding to become a pastor.
It is my fervent hope that I will be the type of person who properly represents true Christianity. If I speak from the heart, present the message in a credible way, seek to awaken people rather than pressure them, and tell them the truth instead of selling them out or offering false reassurances—I might help some people who give me their ear because of my credentials, but then they get the real message and have their faith in what they know in their heart restored.
I also wish to say that it is too easy to blame the church or the schools. When things go wrong at home, such as when the kids start going astray, parents often take two approaches: First they look to someone else to solve their problems, such as the schools, the government or organized religion. Then when things go even more wrong, they blame the ones who they went to, and then again, demand that the outside institution do even more. Blaming is a distraction from seeing the part that they played in what went wrong. Looking to someone else to solve your problems breeds dependency and stifles real growth.
I will elaborate on the above themes.
Parents, for example, often blame the church, the schools, the popular culture, or the government. They fix blame on an institution, as if it were the school's fault that the kids have gone astray. But I have to say that the number one influence on the kids is still the parents. If others begin to have too much influence on the kids, it is because of the default of parents who have abdicated their authority and handed over the kids to someone else.
And when it comes to marriage, the Moses of the family and the person to whom the wife should look up to with respect is the husband. If he is weak, violent, uninformed, or if he makes her his god, then how can she respect him?
If he does not have wisdom, how can the family look to him to guide them when things get a little rough?
And if he does not have the faith and conviction to do what is right and wise, because he is too deferential to what others say, how can he keep the family from being misled?
Another variation of the "blame the schools and the government card" is blaming the economy. "If the economy were better and if we only had more money, we wouldn't have to argue. We could live in a better neighborhood, have more things, pay our bills, and have a better house. Then the marriage would be better. If the schools had more money for computers, then the kids would excel."
I hope you realize that none of the above is true. People can be happy with very little. As the old saying goes, "The best things in life are not things." Abraham Lincoln educated himself using the fireplace for light, and with only one book!
I also want to put in a word of defense for the churches. I have already said that wolves in sheep's clothing have gotten into the church and are very wicked, leading many people astray and turning others off to the very thing that could help them.
But having said that, I must also say in defense of the churches and the ministers—many church people are decent and do good work. Please don't tell me about the inquisition. I know that a great deal of harm has been done in the guise of religion. I already said that twice in this book. But I also know that when there's an earthquake in Haiti or a typhoon in Indonesia, the ones who always arrive with medical help, supplies and food are the Christian churches.
I also know in my heart that many of the Christian people who are my neighbors, friends, and associates are good people.
If they have any fault it is that they are a bit gullible and authority oriented. They are too trusting of the powers that be, and they believe more in various authorities' nice clever words than in what they know in their heart. Being too trusting is probably why over 90% of Christian parents march their kids off to the public schools, which now have American students ranking below third world countries in academic achievement.
Being too authority oriented, they look to the government to do something, to the church leaders to teach them and tell them what is right, and to science and medicine to save them from their unhealthy lifestyles.
When we put others on a pedestal, believe and trust in everything they say, and look to them to do for us—this puts a huge and unfair burden on the authorities.
They try harder and harder to help, cure, and save us from our own folly. But they are only human.
And before long, our weakness tempts them to have contempt for us or to take advantage of our naiveté. Intuition and true religion
The Good Lord gave us intuition—old fashioned common sense. We have forgotten our own American heritage. We have forgotten Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, and the pioneers.
These people—in everyday matters, in politics and in morality—followed and trusted what they saw for themselves. They followed common sense, they lived intuitively, and that's why they became pioneers, inventors, and free spirits.
We have forgotten that people like Abraham, Enoch, Elijah, Ruth and the prophets did not go to church.
They did not look to some organization or some religious expert to tell them about religion. It was truly one person and his or her God.
Most people do not know where to find God. He is within. And the way to know religion is not through some go-between middle man. Nor is from studying some words in a book.
The way to know God is to experience Him. The way to know truth is to realize it.
And you are never closer to beginning to experience the touch of God then when you realize something through wordless intuition. God sends His Light, and your soul realizes Truth in this Light. It is a wordless way of knowing. It is knowing without words.
Realizing is like seeing. Another term for realizing is intuition. Some people call it a wordless hunch, sixth sense, or a gut level knowing. Our biggest problem is doubt. We doubt the inner wordless testimony. We believe more in what others say than in what we know in our hearts.
We also forget what God said in the Bible: "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord:
For all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." Hebrews 8, verses 10, 11 KJV
God wants us to live intuitively. He wants us to use our intuition and common sense. That's why He gave us intuition. What the ancient prophets called living by faith is living intuitively. God does not want us to follow hypocrites or Pharisees. Nor does he want us to mindlessly accept what someone says. He wants us to see it for ourselves.
At one point, Christ said to Peter: "who do you say that I am?" Peter answered: "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God".
Then Christ said a very interesting thing. He said: "Blessed art thou, Simon Peter, for flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but my Father in Heaven."
No one told Peter who Christ was. Peter knew it wordlessly. It was revealed to him within.
We all have access to this type of knowing, which is far superior to mere intellectual knowledge. But we disregard it and ignore it. And of course we doubt it.
When it comes to finances, to raising our kids, to relating to our partner, and to discovering the reason for our existence—we must learn to trust the wordless Word within. When you desire to know the truth and you wish with all your heart to do the right thing but don't know what the right thing is, your true need and
pure intent will stress the Spirit. All of a sudden you will see what do.
And when you trust that wordless knowing and act on it, then you will marvel at how problems resolve themselves, as if by magic. Without effort on your part.
We must all learn to go into our room and practice becoming still, so that we might find our intuition and learn to relate to it. We must learn to pay attention to what it is quietly trying to tell us, so that we can realize what is right, fair and just. We must live by common sense and intuition. We must wait until we know, without words, what to do.
Waiting for guidance from within, and in all matters no matter how small, checking with conscience (intuition)—this I believe is what is meant in the Bible by Paul's instruction to pray without ceasing.
That is why packaged programs about saving your marriage, about disciplining your kids, or losing weight are bound to fail. They are externally based, and not intuitive.
That is why clever pre planned answers fail.
When your child is standing in front of you with an issue, s/he can tell whether you are speaking spontaneously from the heart or whether you are smoothly regurgitating something you heard or read. When you speak something preplanned, the life and love is taken out of it.
When some issue arises with your spouse, there are not enough books in the world to guide you through the subtlety of the moment. What you need in that important moment is just in time guidance. You need what the French call le mot juste (just the right word).
You need savoir faire (intuitive know how), a delicate sense of timing, and you need to get your ego out of the way. You need patience. You need guidance from your Creator. That is what intuition is for.
This point is spoken to in the Bible when Christ says: when you are called before the authorities, do not plan what to say in advance, the Holy Spirit will guide you.
Elsewhere in this book I relate how a wife who had some marital issues went to a counselor.
This wife's husband was decent, a good provider, not a womanizer or drinker. Just a decent guy. But she and he had some issues, like many couples do. The counselor cavalierly encouraged her to divorce and "do her own thing." The marriage was destroyed, the kids suffered and both husband and wife lived out their separate lives in sickness and in poverty.
The counselor, a recent graduate who had little experience and no understanding, was a fool. But I am not going to blame the counselor.
The real problem was that this lady's husband was typical of husbands: he was decent but weak and unaware. She resented him, and soon her resentment ruined her emotional well being and made her judgmental over everything he did.
He did not see or understand what was going on. He could not understand why she was unhappy. He did not know what else was required of him. He did not have the agape love she needed from him. Nor was he aware enough to protect her from unwholesome influences or see the problem with the foolish advice she was getting from strangers.
No one had loved him either. No one had taken the time to guide him properly. He was a victim. And then through his weakness, she became a victim too. But I'm not making excuses to him. Because of his failing, the whole family suffered.
If we had been left without help, and the human race had been left to fend for itself, then it would be unfair.
But we were not left unattended. At this very moment, as you read this book, you have access to guidance from within. But chances are you do not even know that you have it or how to find it and interpret what it is trying to wordlessly tell you. If you believe in intuition at all, you probably think it is just women who have a woman's intuition.
Thus when issues arise that you need wisdom to deal with, you turn your back on intuition, and you look to experts, teachers, and strangers.
Of course, the lady I was telling you about could have been reasonably happy if she could have learned to give up resentment and judgment. Her resentment was hurting her more than anything else.
She could have paid attention to and believed her intuition (conscience) which was telling her to not resent and judge her husband.
No one reminded her of this. And if they did, they didn't have the love to speak directly and make their words crystal clear so she couldn't duck the message. Nor could they tell her the why and how of giving up resentment.
If she had heard the warning, it would have awakened her to her inner intuition (conscience) which had been telling her wordlessly all along--to not resent her husband.
Nevertheless, even if someone had made it crystal clear, she would probably have been unwilling to give up the resentment. Like many people, she was too stubborn to admit she was wrong.
Judging and resenting her husband gave her a sense of self righteousness, and she felt like a martyr. It gave her someone to hate, to blame and to have contempt for. Resentment ultimately robbed her of happiness, family, and then perhaps her soul.
But what if this lady had been one of the rare souls (which hopefully you may be too) who when the truth is stated clearly and with love, she sees herself in its light and is sorry for what she sees? Repenting of her resentment and judgment, her soul softens as she awakens to the Creator's love within. Her whole life would have changed for the better, regardless of whether her husband changed or not. Something else would have been added to her life that would thenceforth brighten her days and smooth the bumps in the road.
Maybe her husband would be there for her and maybe he wouldn't. Either way, she would have begun to live graciously and with joy, despite what her husband did or did not do.
And that, dear reader, is the purpose of this book. I hope to make the truth about the age old battle of the sexes so clear that you will see the reason for the fall and how to stop failing and falling. You will be able to stop hating your partner or yourself, and you will be able to calm down. You will be able to begin to let go of the baggage of unforgiveness and begin to live free.
Even just seeing clearly that all couples are in the same boat—that we are all Adam and Eve redux, with each family replaying the old scene from the Garden of Eden—you will be able to be more forgiving toward your partner when you see that s/he too is lost and misguided. Having compassion (instead of resentment) your heart will soften. And when it does, the love of the Creator will flood your being.
I am not going to play the blame game when it comes to public schools, government, or the clergy.
Instead I wish to focus on the two people involved—the two partners. Each of them and both of them can change their attitude and change the outcome for the better in a short time, perhaps days.
How is it possible, you ask, that a husband or wife can change their life and perhaps their relationship for the better within a short amount of time when the clergy, the counselors, the social workers, and thousands of experts and writers are failing to solve our individual and collective problems? When all these helpers and experts seem unable to solve the family violence that is everywhere, and the increasing statistics of broken homes, sexually transmitted diseases, and divorce?
After three thousand years of recorded history, humankind has not been able to solve cruelty, emotional abuse, heartaches, suffering, pain, and hurt feelings. The biggest victims of all are still the kids.
The reason why an individual person can do what all the experts and helpers can't seem to make happen is because the individual can change his or her attitude and acquire a new attitude of forgiveness, patience, and understanding. These wonderful attributes—forgiveness, patience and understanding—come from within. They come from believing instead of doubting what you know in your heart, and they come from accepting instead of resenting the gentle chastisement of conscience.
A person can literally have a change of heart, start meditating, and within a few weeks you won't even recognize them as being the same depressed, resentful angry person they were before.
We are always looking for someone else to do something for us, when the answer is within. A Heavenly order is waiting to unfold for the sincere seeker of truth and for the person who is willing to be more forgiving.
I will address this issue in greater detail elsewhere in this book. But right now I want to give you a sneak preview. The main problem that we all have—almost without exception—is resentment. Admit it, you resent your husband.
And you husbands—admit it, you resent your wives.
The first key to emotional well being and toward building a better relationship is to simply see and admit that you are resentful. And also judgmental. In fact, (and ladies don't get mad at me for saying this, but I've been counseling now for over 20 years)—women, in particular, have a problem with judgment.
What resentment and judgment do is block love. You cannot resent and love at the same time. You cannot judge another and have patience with them at the same time. Love comes from within. It is the love from our Creator that we all need. It is the healing balm and the ultimate fix.
But if you do not forgive others, then your Heavenly Father will not forgive you. He will not give you His approval and warm love if you are secretly resenting and judging your husband, for example.
Judgment is a very sneaky thing. A lot of women say "I don't resent anyone, and I'm not angry at anyone."
Yet they are secretly judgmental. Judgment is a "superior" sort of hate. Men, being the weak whimpering dogs or violent brutes that they are, are very easy to feel superior to. A woman can feel very superior to her man, judge him for his failings, and feel rather saintly or even martyr like (doing all she does for her ungrateful brute), and never suspect that she is actually hateful.
This judgment, which can become an addiction, separates her from love and is the a hidden cause of feelings of emptiness, low self esteem, unhappiness, and a host of related physical symptoms.
Again, I wish to emphasize that everyone knows when they are angry, most know when they are resentful, but quite a few people are very judgmental and never suspect anything wrong with it or see how it is subtly ruining their life.
And you husbands, how can you love your wife if you are resenting her?
So, whether you are a man or a woman, if you are sincere in your desire to know the truth, then reading this book will help you to forgive. Why?
First, it will open your eyes to see that you are indeed more angry, resentful and judgmental than you realized.
Secondly, you will start to see something wrong with these emotions. And third, you will see how we are all victims of the legacy of misunderstanding—and seeing this will make it easier to be more forgiving.
Your eyes will be opened about the nature of men and women, the legacy of failing that we all share, and the subtle evil which has penetrated the human race.
You will see that most people are victims of this process. Then the error of pride and its promoter, evil, prevents us from loving each other. It comes between the husband and wife and between the parent and child.
And how does it get inside of us? Mostly when we resented and hated our parents. Then when we grow up and become parents, there it is compelling us to be cruel to our children, to be willful, to resent our husband, and to use our wife.
It is always there operating through the no man's land of the subconscious and the imagination—feeding your ego with ambitious schemes and dreams, justifying your judgments, excusing your errors, helping you feel sorry for yourself, filling your mind with notions of grandeur, thoughts of revenge, and fantasies of sex and violence.
It is always there misguiding you and leading you into folly.
You followed it because you assumed that the thoughts that rise in a moment of temptation are your very own thoughts. But they are not.
And it is always there in our leaders and demagogues, teaching them to promise us glory and restored dignity, but leading us to individual and collective destruction.
There is no hope for you unless you wake up to see what is going on and stop following the voice that urges you, for example, to divorce your spouse and find excitement and pleasure in party time with someone else.
As your eyes are opened to what we are all up against, your heart will be softened. You will see that your poor old mom and dad were not being deliberately cruel.
They could not help themselves. No one loved them either. No one cared enough to show them the way.
You will see that your husband is just a man. You will see that he has not yet found the bond with his Creator within. You will see that he too is a victim and is lost; and you will no longer need hate him This does not mean you have to like what he does (if he is erring) or feel sorry for him, but you can see the failing without resenting him.
Husbands, you will see that when your wife was a girl, her father was undoubtedly not there for her. She went out into the world looking for love, and most likely all she got was use and abuse instead. You will see that the more she might tease you, tempting you to resent her, and the more confusing she is—that is your opportunity to shine. You can be all the more patient and longsuffering, all the more calm, and all the more reasonable.
Seeing that it is your role to be the Moses of the family, you will learn to become more fatherly. And as you grow in wisdom and patience, she will begin to respect you.
You will also see that most people are lost. You will see that most people do not have love. So you will stop craving guidance and love from them. You will begin to be patient with them, and as you are patient with others, your Heavenly Father will be patient with you.
Thus it will come to pass that you will be able to be patient with yourself too.
And being patient with your partner, you may become very good friends and live happily ever after.
Perhaps now you can see why I do not focus on errors the church, schools, universities, and government may be making. I cannot save the world, and for the most part, they are not interested in my help anyway.
They believe they already have the answers. They believe in evolution—that we are getting better, and that through technology, medicine, pharmacology, social sciences, and psychology we can solve all our problems.
They do not see that we are a fallen race. And that the more we meddle and try to solve our problems with technology and psychology, the more problems we create.
But I can help an individual--someone who is sincerely searching for answers and who really and truly wants to be a better mom, dad, husband or wife.
The other reason I do not focus on the societal level and point the finger at our institutions is because, in a way, they are doing the best they can.
When our love fails and violence erupts in the family, someone has to step in and restore order.
When men fail to be men and when they fail to assume their proper role as head of household, someone has to step in. Mostly it is mom who is left to handle things and raise the kids.
When dad is gone, a drunk, a drug addict, or off with some other woman, then mom has to do the best she can. Without a husband, she has to look to government to help her.
When a doctor, a lawyer, a counselor, a bureaucrat, or an educator is called upon to help someone, it is hard or even impossible to turn that person away.
Some of you know where I am going. The problem is not the government, the schools, or any other institution—if men would be men, the family would be much happier, and most problems would be nipped in the bud before they even start. But when father has left, when the husband is weak and unaware, when the man is selfish, and when he uses his wife instead of loving her—things are bound to go wrong.
Throughout this book you will see two important themes repeated over and over again. 1. The man must learn to be unselfish. He must learn to become more fatherly. He must find an invisible bond within, so that he can find the patience, the kindness, the longsuffering, the forbearance, and the wisdom he will need but does not now have. The man must learn to be a man. 2. The woman must stop resenting her husband and judging him. Since all men have failed her, her husband is undoubtedly failing her in some way. Her father was probably not there for her and now her husband is not either.
Having known nothing but failing men, the fallen woman cannot help but judge and resent him for his real or imagined failings. Then feeling guilty for her resentment and judgment, she misinterprets her guilt as being for not doing enough for him.
So she serves out of hate and guilt, and when she serves him, he just gets worse and takes more advantage—leading to another round of resentment and judgment. This is the treadmill of suffering on which all sinners are trapped until their suffering makes some of them wake up to see what they are doing wrong.
The woman, who begins to wake up and repent of her resentments and judgments will be able to quickly climb out of the black hole of depression and the feeling that she always has to do more and more for others.
If there is any goodness in her husband, she must learn to appreciate what is good in a man. And if he fails, she must learn to see the failing but resist the temptation to resent him. If she does not resent or judge him, then she need not feel guilty for discerning his wrong. And if she is not guilty, she can forbear serving him out of guilt.
Less resentful, she can then be less willful, trying to change her husband or becoming impatient and bossy with the kids. By not resenting, she will find love within. And by no longer resenting him and meddling, she will give him the space to find himself. There may be a man in there, but right now her resentment of him makes it difficult for him to find himself.
In other words, both husband and wife have some basic training to do. This book is a good starting point.
The reason I do not spend more time in this book critiquing the failing of our social and governmental institutions to solve our problems is because they have been forced to take upon themselves something which is really something husbands and fathers should be doing.
Because of the weakness of men and their abdication of their responsibility, other people have had to try to fill the vacuum. You see, it is the father who should be teaching morality and principles related to courtship, marriage and family.
The good example and the abiding concern and awareness of the good father are themselves powerful protectors and teachers of values, often without anything even having to be said.
The raised consciousness of the aware father tends to raise the awareness of everyone in his family. They see, in the light of his raised awareness, what is right and reasonable, and they also see what to avoid.
Besides, the fact that the father is there for the kids, that he is involved, that he is emotionally available, and that his words and deeds make what is proper crystal clear are often all that is needed.
But when dad is not there for the kids or when he is weak or himself confused about values, then there is a vacuum that someone else must fill.
The job is transferred to mom, and she then transfers various teaching and value bearing responsibilities to daycare and school--to teachers, counselors, youth ministers, coaches, and various other people--many of who are really strangers.
Through the failing of fathers, it comes to pass that teachers, coaches, ministers, counselors, experts, and bureaucrats are charged with conferring values.
Somebody has to do it. And if nobody does it, then values of the peer group and the pop culture become the ones that are predominant.
My point is—when fathers fail, others have to do his job. Some do the best they can. Others take advantage of the vacuum and use it to promulgate some personal agenda that they have. But the fault is the default of father.