Dear Aunt Dara,
A tough thing is that I've had boyfriends in the past who simply slow-danced with me, and actually happily read a Bible together with me, and wanted to speak with me about dreams and goals. Those memories make it hard for me to be satisfied today. I feel as if we're taking turns playing video games and going through evil motions of wasting time. I'm actually a co-leader with him in the recovery group, and I don't want to go back when I see what he chooses to watch in his spare time. Do you have any suggestion on what I should do?
Dear Disillusioned Wife,
I have never taken this long to reply to a letter before, so I ask your forgiveness for my delay. I know that I have some things to say to you that may be very hard for you to hear, so please forgive me if my reply may seem to be blunt, or even harsh. Please understand that my intention is to be helpful, not hurtful.
It is obvious that what you are doing to try to change your husband isn’t working, so it’s time for a new strategy: Change yourself. Let me explain.
Your anger and behavior toward your husband are counterproductive to improving your marriage. Furthermore, you are playing with fire when you think about former boyfriends who seemed to be more affectionate and loving toward you than your husband is. You must get these other men out of your mind or your thoughts will poison what relationship you still have with your husband, as will your angry thoughts toward him regarding his choice to participate in ungodly entertainment. Your husband obviously is not listening to you when you try to get him to stop viewing unsuitable material, and he may view your efforts to get him to stop as being controlling and manipulative. He needs to reach the decision to change his behavior on his own, and repentance can only occur if he has godly sorrow for doing things that displease God (2 Corinthians 7:10). Otherwise, even if he does stop, he would just be doing it to get you to stop criticizing him (which is why he does these things in secret). Does your husband even acknowledge that he is participating in sinful entertainment? I encourage you pray for him and solicit assistance from your church leaders to teach him how to live a more pure life.
I also recommend that you change your behavior and attitude toward your husband by focusing on his strengths, treating him with respect and kindness, and being affectionate toward him rather than being hurt and upset because he isn’t affectionate toward you. Do not harbor any negative thoughts toward your husband, but treat him the way that you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). Strive to become a woman of meek and gentle spirit who loves her husband (1 Peter 3:1-6), and let God change your husband.