Can Cohabiting Couples Benefit from Marital Therapy?

Can Cohabiting Couples Benefit from Marital Therapy?

One of the students asked if she and her cohabiting boyfriend would benefit from seeing a marriage counselor as she had previously thought there was no help available to them from traditional marriage therapists.  I assured her I would be happy to see them.  I’m sure most of colleagues would agree.

I empathize with many cohabiting couples as the most common factor driving them is they often grew up in broken families and don’t want to end up like their parents.  They think by checking out the other person first hand while living together gives them a heads-up on whether this is the right person or not.  I understand that fear, but the method doesn’t work, because cohabiting couples are much more likely to have more hurt than married couples.  By moving in together without marriage they are increasing the possibility they will break up in the future, because cohabiting relationships, by definition, are insecure and insecurity causes people to act in insecure ways (lashing out, freaking out, shutting down, withdrawing, feeling controlled, feeling ignored), none of which encourages people to relax and enjoy the roses.

Some couples may be reluctant to see a marital therapist, fearing the therapist will guilt trip the couple into doing something they don’t want to do or aren’t ready to do.  This was even the argument from one of my colleagues when I taught my Thriving Couples Model at a marriage and family conference.  He or she said my model was based on people who agreed with me, because only people who agreed with me would come to see me.  I based my model on years of marital therapy for thousands of couples, who came to see me long before I ever started blogging about marriage and cohabitation.  All people had before the blog (I started the blog in 2009) was my yellow page ad, which said that I was a marriage therapist and helped couples deal with various issues.  Actually, the blog has helped couples who totally disagree with me come to see me, married or not.  They like the fact I have an opinion and will tell it too them straight, that I’m not just going to sit there and say, “You poor thing.”  They also like I may give them a different point of view than they had considered before, which can be very beneficial.

I had one cohabiting couple who asked me to talk with them about sexuality, because of their problems in that area.  This had come up after several sessions on other topics.  I said, “You know I have a different point of view than both of you on that topic, right?”   “No, no,” he assured me, “that’s why we came to see you in the first place.  We wanted a different perspective.”  Good for them.

Cohabiting couples have the same issues as married couples, only worse!  For example, married people can have commitment issues, even though they are married, because one or the other or both make threats (sometime repeated threats!) to divorce.  It’ll be very hard for either of them to give their hearts to the other if they fear one or the other will be leaving!  In cohabiting couples, the fear of leaving is compounded, not only because there’s a threats of breaking up (a very common problem of cohabiting couples), but also because there’s no vow of staying!  It’s the same problem, but from an added whole different angle.  The cohabiting partners saying to each other they will be committed is not enough.  Saying marriage is just a piece of paper and our commitment and love will endure is not enough.  You can tell each other these kinds of things till you are blue in the face, and even have children with each other, but this doesn’t make you married until you willfully and publicly declare your vows to each other on your wedding day and a new family is born.  Otherwise you are just playing house and when it’s nap time your friend will have to go home for his nap.  It’s not your car till you pay for it and you sign on the dotted line.  It’s just a piece of paper, but now it’s your car.  To take the car without the piece of paper is stealing.  It’s not your car.  Cohabiting is stealing.  It’s not marriage till you sacrifice your very life, the rest of your life, for both of your sake.

This lack of a wedding date creates all kinds of problems and makes normal, everyday problems, critical and nearly anything can escalate into a fight or misunderstanding.  Cohabiting couples are much more insecure and impatient and testy and short with each other.  It’s one thing to test drive a car.  It’s another thing altogether to drive the car off the lot without paying for it and never come back!

Here’s another example:  You know how many times I’ve worried in 38 years of marriage that my wife is going to leave me?  Zero.  That’s right.  Zero.  You know how often cohabiting couple worry about that?  Most of them worry about it all the time.  How come you won’t marry me?  I’m not pretty enough or skinny enough or rich enough or good enough or whatever enough?  What’s the matter with me?  What’s the matter with you?  Why won’t you commit to me?  What’s holding you back?  Why are there all these issues?   Everything is an issue.  And you say you aren’t worried about it?  What’s the deal with that?  Are you just using me?  You too good for me?  You  judging me?  You see?  On either side of this problem there’s worries.  Worry, worry, worry.

One of the main reasons cohabiting couples have issues is because the commitment problem stares them in the face every day.  It’s pretty hard to do wise couple things, when insecurity is constantly unsettled.  So the couples fight or withdraw or one fights and the other withdraws or they both fight and they both withdraw.  Now they don’t want to marry because they fight or withdraw too much!  But the reason they are fighting and withdrawing is because they feel insecure about the future and on and on we go.  Nevertheless I’ve found many of these kinds of couples can benefit from learning how to handle their differences and to communicate in kinder ways.  And when we’ve gone through that material it often gives them the courage and confidence they need to get married.

That’s actually a pretty nice thing for me…when I get a wedding invitation from former clients who were cohabiting.  I take that as the most extreme form of thank you note!  Thank you, Dr. Wall, for helping us reach the confidence where we can give ourselves wholeheartedly to each other til death us do part.

By the way…I don’t go to those weddings!  I’m thrilled for them, but I figure it’d be weird to have them introduce me as their therapist.

Still…it’s a very nice thing.

Can Cohabiting Couples Benefit from Marital Therapy?

Shouldn’t I Divorce If I Can’t Trust Anymore?

Fortunately, I’ve been able to help many of these folks regain their trust and actually discover a wonderful marriage.  It ain’t easy, but it can be done.  The road to healing is littered with minefields, though, and things can easily blow up if we aren’t careful.  It’s hard to explain in a few paragraphs, but take my word for it, that most couples cannot survive trust issues without a little outside guidance.  Look at all the possibilities:

  1. Both Spouse A and B are trustable and both trust each other.
  2. Both Spouse A and B are trustable, but A doesn’t trust B or B doesn’t trust A.
  3. Spouse B is not trustable and Spouse A is trustable and A doesn’t trust B or B doesn’t trust A.
  4. Spouse A is not trustable and Spouse B is trustable and A doesn’t trust B or B doesn’t trust A.
  5. Either Spouse A or B are not trustable, but both trust each other.
  6. Either Spouse A or B are not trustable, but one trusts the other and one doesn’t.
  7. Either Spouse A or B are not trustable and neither trusts the other.
  8. Both Spouse A or Spouse B are not trustable and neither trusts each other.
  9. Both Spouse A or B are not trustable and both trust each other.
  10. Both Spouse A or B are not trustable, but one trusts the other and the other doesn’t.

So, ahhh, which option above means we should divorce?  That’s a rhetorical question to illustrate that trust is very tender, it is easy to lose and it is difficult to gain back.  I hope you can also see, the only option that works above is #1: if both are trustable and both trust each other.  Every other scenario is fraught with difficulty and fear and anxiety and worry and doubt (the one who doesn’t trust) and feelings of being controlled and attacked  (the person who wasn’t trustable or isn’t trustable or is trustable and is attacked for being untrustable) or my spouse is a crazy person or I’m being taken for a fool (either the non-trusting or the untrustable spouse).

Consider: A couple might not trust each other for a lot of reasons: One of A or B’s parents or both A and B’s parents might have cheated and either divorced the other or they stayed married with a lot of pain.  A or B or A and B might have had a boy or girlfriend cheat on A or B or A and B in high school or college or in a previous cohabiting situation or marriage.  A or B or A and B might have done the cheating and now A or B or A and B have a difficult time believing anyone is trustable and now A or B or A and B see ghosts in the night when there are none there.

Or to say it another way: it is difficult to trust anyone if anyone else in your past has cheated on you or if you have cheated on anyone.

I wrote it’s difficult.  I didn’t write it’s impossible.  Basically, you shouldn’t trust someone if they are not trustable.  The burden is on the untrustable person to be trustable.  Basically, you should trust someone if they are trustable and the burden is on the person who doesn’t trust to learn to trust the trustable person.  I hope you can see usually both parties (the one who doesn’t trust and the one who isn’t trustable) have work to do to bring healing to the relationship (where both are trustable and both trust each other).

Or to say it another way:  the waters of trust are difficult to navigate.  Having a guide is helpful.  That’s where we come in.  Let us help you be a couple where both are trustable and both are trusting.  It’s actually a wonderful way to live.  We can’t undo the past, but we can heal and learn from the past and we can be trustable and have integrity going forward and learn again be trusting.  As Proverbs 10:9 says, “He who walks in integrity, walks securely.”  I highly recommend integrity for both parties as a lifestyle (see my series on Integrity).

And no, just because you don’t trust your spouse, it doesn’t mean you should divorce.  It means you both are going to have some work to do and it’ll take some time.  A little patience might be good.  Love is patient, after all.

But if you divorce, you haven’t learned to be trusting or trustable and you bring your trust problem into your next relationship, only the next time it’ll all be multiplied in intensity.  You may as well figure it out now instead of borrowing trouble.  Usually divorce is borrowing trouble for the future.  Divorce freezes your personal shortcomings and creates just one more problem of trust to be overcome

Can Cohabiting Couples Benefit from Marital Therapy?

After An Affair Shouldn’t I Just Divorce?

Shame on you if you fool me once.  Shame on me if you fool me twice.

That’s a popular response to an affair.  As she sings:

Where I’m at, is my life before me and this feeling that I can’t go back

Live goes on

In other words:

Once a cheater always a cheater (another pop cultural response to the pain of an affair) or, even if you repented and were sorry and never did it again I could never heal, I could never forgive, I could never forget, and even if I could do that, the affair destroyed the relationship, so the only way to deal with it is to dump your sorry butt and not look back.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think you should take advice from LeAnn Rimes on something so important.  In her defense, she didn’t write the song and was only twenty when she recorded it.  To her shame, she was the “other woman” only a few years later.  Not surprising to me.  If you are cavalier about your vows on either side of this debate you are ripe for an affair yourself.  She’s quoted as saying in Wikipedia: “I take responsibility for everything I’ve done.  I hate that people got hurt, but I don’t regret the outcome.”  Hmm.  Let’s see: I destroyed two families, but at least I’m happy?  I don’t think “I take responsibility” and “I don’t regret the outcome” should be in the same sentence.  Maybe not even in the same life!  It certainly hasn’t helped her.

Her song and life reflect three common beliefs:  After an affair there’s no such thing as 1) repentance or 2) forgiveness or 3) healing.   It’s understandable people would think these things.  Affairs are very painful all around.

But they are also very temporary.  Nearly all.  They are a buzz, a thrill, an adrenaline rush, like a heroin high you eventually will come down from like a crash.  You also have to disobey God to do it and go against your own conscience and go against all common decency and feel the disparagement and anger and hurt and disbelief of your spouse and children and other loved ones and friends.  In some cases you can get fired and even arrested.  Yeah, you can find a few like-minded pervs out there who will pat you on the back and say you did the right thing and your spouse was a jerk or whatever, but you still have to look yourself in their mirror in the morning.  And the morning after that and the morning after that for the rest of your life… and you will see ghosts everywhere and doubt everyone’s integrity and not be able to trust anyone because of what you did and you will think everyone is out to get everyone just like you.  Did you remember LeAnne Rimes ended up checking in for treatment for anxiety and depression nearly three years after her little fling she didn’t regret?  The ghosts are following her.  No surprises there.

This stuff is no fun to deal with, granted.  But don’t try going it alone.  I’m here to tell you there is such a thing as repentance.  People really do learn their lessons and don’t want to go back to cheating and will do whatever they can to not go down that horror street again.   I’m here to tell you there is such a thing as forgiveness and you won’t obsess on your spouse’s cheating the rest of your life if you do the right things.  I’m here to tell you both of you as a couple can heal from this, learn from this, rise above it, conquer it and reclaim your marriage.  In fact, for many couples their marriages are better than ever before because they both learned they can’t take each other for granted, we live in a fragile world and we’d better tend to each other.

But knowing how to say no to temptation going forward, knowing how to heal together, knowing how to not obsess on the violation of it all…these are not easy rows to hoe.  There’s some pain along the way.  There’s some obstacles to climb over.  There’s some rubbish to throw away.  There’s some wounds to clean out.

That’s where we come in.  We know the territory.  We’ve been down this road with many, many other couples.  You still have to go down life’s journey, but we can give you a road map.  The road is fraught with danger and, granted, some therapists have no idea how to help you navigate those roads.

But we do.

Give us a holler.

Can Cohabiting Couples Benefit from Marital Therapy?

Hey, Guys: You Better Think Twice About Refusing Your Wife’s Request For Marriage Therapy!

You want to be careful, though. Ignoring her advice, that maybe some guidance on making this marriage thing a little more enjoyable, could come to bite you in the butt. Here’s a curious phenomena: If she quits complaining, this isn’t necessarily a good sign. Sure, it’s nice she’s not complaining any more, but it very well may be she’s not just learned to go with the flow. She might have decided, instead, since you ignore any of her ideas, why say anything? You’d better be worried if that’s the case, because the research on this is suggesting once she does that, she starts harboring resentments and starts withdrawing from you emotionally and other ways and pretty soon, she’s as good as dead inside about you and divorce starts to look better than being with you. And then she threatens to file or actually files and you start to get it that maybe she wasn’t just blowing smoke and you are all repentant now and wanting to change and, sadly, you might even be telling the truth, and you are willing to go to therapy and even make the appointment, but we spend the sessions figuring out how not to kill each other in the divorce process, because she’s not changing her mind. To her, divorce is just calling a spade a spade and you are left wondering what happened. Or some other Romeo agreed with her that you were a jerk and you know where that goes.

It’s a pretty sad deal and we’d do our best to try to convey to her it’d be worth giving you a go, but chances are, if she’s decided she’s died inside, we just might end up being the undertaker. Look, we disagree with her she’s died inside. We’re optimists and believe people can change, her and you, otherwise we wouldn’t make very good therapists. Still, she may not be open to input that you are worth fighting for, even if you and I agree on that point.

Come see us BEFORE she puts her divorce lawyer on speed dial. In fact, way before: while both of you are still feeling there is something worth saving. We’re not afraid to give you a few pointers and help you heal from past hurts and learn new ways to approach things…ways that actually work, instead of getting everyone even madder.

It’s time to quit saying “we-don’t-need-anyone-else-looking-at-our-problems”. We don’t just sit around and look at your problems, anyway. We try to help the two of you respect each other enough to work together to solve your own problems. We make an assumption that neither or you are dumb! We try to work ourselves out of a job. We try to give each of you a voice so you can tap into your respective wisdom and insight. We also know what works and what doesn’t work and unlike most therapists coming out of grad school today, we aren’t afraid to share that information. A transmission guy should know how to fix transmissions. He does it all day. We should know how to help couples. This is what we do. We know what works. We know what doesn’t work. And no, we aren’t going to take either of your sides and help you beat each other up. We’re more interested in seeing you thrive.

But the first step to thriving? Realizing you could use a little help. Humility would be a sign, maybe things could be different. And humility for a husband? It just might be the encouragement your wife needs.

Marriage and the Halo Effect

Marriage and the Halo Effect

He wasn’t surprised and congratulated me.  Then I told him a key for me was cutting back on soda and that I was drinking a ton of water.  I told him I probably ate better, too, when I drank water.  He said, “That’s the Halo Effect.”

“What’s the Halo Effect?”  I asked.

He said, “You know,” and he put his hands above his head to make a halo, “like an angel.  When you improve one thing it tends to snowball into other areas of your life.”

What a cool concept.  I agreed with the bike guy on health and I immediately thought of the positive affect just one improvement to your marriage can make.  Since then I’ve been ruminating and looking back on my clients in my mind’s eye, trying to remember clients that made one little improvement in their marriage and it had a halo effect where it led to many positive changes in a very short time.  Here’s the most common and memorable ones:

1.  Changing how you think:  The ancient proverb says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” and if you think negatively about your spouse (or your child! or mother-in-law!) that will affect how you treat your spouse.  After discussing this concept with a couple married over 25 years that was headed toward divorce, one lady told me of a dramatic change, just in one day.  She said her husband came up to her to tell her something, and she said, “I immediately wrote him off negatively in my head.  And then I remember what you said and thought it wasn’t fair for me to think so badly about him.  He hadn’t even told me yet what he was thinking.  So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and was nice to him and we’ve been nice to each other ever since.”  Good for her.

2.  Cuddling in bed:  “The marriage bed is undefiled”, the ancient writer to Hebrews said, but you’d be amazed how many couples I see don’t even sleep together, let alone cuddle when they sleep. I guess you can’t cuddle unless you are in the same bed, so that would be a first priority, to get back into the same bed together.  For heaven sake, you 3-year old doesn’t need mamma or daddy sleeping with him or her.  They need to learn to comfort themselves.  Your heart needs the warmth of your spouse next to you much more.  The marriage bed is not only undefiled, it is symbolic.  If you aren’t in the same bed, or there’s the Grand Canyon between you and your spouse in your bed, you are non-verbally saying to each other you want nothing to do with your spouse.  Is that the message you want to send?  You are sending it whether your want to or not.  And don’t give me all these excuses why you can’t.  There are myriads of them.  Every one will cause your heart to grow cold and the tenderness between you and your spouse to turn to ice.  You’ll have only yourself to blame, though.  Sorry.  Please.   You don’t have to cuddle all night.  Put your bodies together and have a little pillow talk and just relax.  You’ve heard of brief therapy?  This is the briefest there is.  The couple starts cuddling again and all of a sudden they don’t need therapy anymore.

3. Stop the divorce threats:  I estimate in 80% of the couples I see one or the other has made a threat or veiled threat to divorce (e.g. “I can’t take this anymore.” “You think I’m gonna live like this?”  “I’m done.”) and for some of them, they’ve done this hundreds of times.  Hundreds of times?  How am I supposed to give you my heart if you keep pulling the lawyer card?  No way, man.  I’m going to withdraw from you so it won’t hurt so bad when you leave!  I’ll start preparing myself for the reality of you not being there.  I’ll start fantasizing what it’d be like to have to come and pick up the kids and to sleep alone and to not have as much money and to date again.  You want me thinking about that kind of stuff?  One of my most common interventions is to suggest to couples they stop immediately and for the rest of their marriage, the threats to commitment.  Boom!  Just like that.  Some couples, the moment they quit throwing around the D word, they start to connect again.  You’d be amazed.  Imagine a football player telling his coach if this or that doesn’t happen he’s quitting .  The coach would say, there’s the door.  And that’s just a football team.  Marriage is much more sacred.  You started a new family on your wedding day.  Don’t make light of it.

4. Greeting at the end of the day:  How many marriages have died due to simple rudeness.  It is rude to come home at the end of the day and not greet your spouse with a kiss and/or hug and a little eye contact and a little “miss yous” and “nice to see yous”.  Come on, people!  Really.  You wouldn’t ever do that to your children, right?  Think of this:  What message are you sending your spouse, your kids and your own heart if you give your kids a more enthusiastic greeting at the end of the day than you give your spouse?  This could be 15 seconds that could change your marriage, just like that.  You come home at the end of the day.  Your kids greet you.  You greet them back for a few seconds, a hug, a pat on the back, and then you say, “Let’s go find mommy” or “Let’s go find daddy.”  And then you go looking for your spouse and the two of you stop everything else for a moment and give each other a kiss.  You know, a real kiss.  One that says I missed you and I’m glad to be with you.  Check in with your spouse.  Make sure everything is Okay, and then go ahead and talk with your children.

I could go on, but these are some of the top Halo Effect behaviors my clients have reported to me have been very helpful in turning their marriages around.  One little change had a positive impact and led to other behavior and attitudinal changes that encouraged them both.

The Wholeness of Integrity in Marriage VS The Lack of Integrity in Cohabitation

The Wholeness of Integrity in Marriage VS The Lack of Integrity in Cohabitation

Oftentimes we think of integrity as having to do with morality, like not having an affair, but it’s much more than not doing bad or immoral things. Dr. Cloud’s definition in the title of his book on integrity seeks to get at this idea of how all encompassing integrity is.

Dr. Cloud’s subtitle is “The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality”.  What does he mean by that?  Reality can be fun and exciting or drab and depressing.  It can be good.  It can be bad.  No matter what goes on, the person of integrity rises to the occasion.  They don’t fold when the going gets tough.

Dr. Cloud gives an example of what he means by suggesting integrity is like the wake of a boat.  When you look at the wake of a boat, the wake tells you what kind of boat it is.  There’s two sides to the wake.  He writes the one side of the wake represents your work and the kind of job you do there.  The other side of the wake represents your relationships.  Since the word “integrity” means “wholeness” (as in whole number.  See the first blog in this series.), when it comes to looking at your own integrity, you want to look at the results of your life.  What kind of wake are you leaving?

You may do awesome in your career.  Your colleagues think you are wonderful.  The results you leave there are impressive.  But what kind of trail are you leaving at home?  If everywhere you go, there are hurt people, the results you have at work won’t mean much.

Dr. Cloud’s book primarily addresses integrity in the business world, but we could easily apply the principles to married life.  Couples often do fine when they are dating.  They have a lot of fun together and think they will make a great match.  Too often in our society, couples become sexual before they are married and the sexuality is hot…at least for awhile. They might even move in together.  Everything is great.  Everything is fine.

Or so it seems.  Or as long as everything is fine.  Cohabiting couples are like little children not wanting to grow up.  They fear marriage maybe because they’ve seen other marriages crash and burn.   They associate marriage with pain.  Well, duh.

Marriage, like integrity, is about wholeness: your whole life.  It includes the good and the bad.  Fifty, sixty years?  Yes.  In these many decades together a lot of good and bad things are going to happen.  You face them both together.  Some of these problems are of our own doing; others of them are imposed upon us from the outside.

In both cohabitation and divorce, we are saying we only want the good part and we’ll run away from the bad.  I’ll stay with you as long as everything’s fine, but as soon as reality sinks in, as soon as the problems start, I’m done.  This isn’t reality.  This isn’t realistic. This isn’t integrity.

In divorce people run from the bad.  They can’t learn to rise above the bad or set an example of how to not let the bad get you down.  Cohabitation says I only will love you as long as everything is fine.  If it’s not, I’m outta here!  Marriage says: sickness and health, rich or poor, good and bad, for the rest of our whole life.  Marriage is actually the proving ground of integrity.  I think of marriage as God’s gentle way to knock the selfishness out of us.  You can’t really enjoy marriage if you are selfish.

Cohabiting is a couple of adults acting as children playing house.  If you don’t play the way I want, I’m gonna leave.  Cohabiting is more akin to two two-year olds, both playing their own separate version of house, each doing their own thing.  Each paying their own bills.  A couple of roommates pretending to be mature.  They smile, wipe their mouths and say they didn’t do anything wrong!

There’s no integrity here, people!   You say marriage is just a piece of paper?  This is insulting.  Marriage is like buying a car.  Yes, you sign a piece of paper.  But it’s not just a piece of paper.  It’s the exchange of ownership. It’s now your car.  You paid for it.  Cohabiting is stealing the car.  Yes, you are driving a car.  But it’s NOT YOUR CAR.  You not only didn’t sign the purchase order, you didn’t pay for it!  It’s NOT JUST A PIECE OF PAPER.  And because you didn’t sign that piece of paper AND pay for it you are inviting the police to come after you.  When you cohabit you are saying you won’t sign that marriage license because you won’t give your life away.  When you marry, yes, you sign a marriage license.  But in marriage you give your life away to start a new family.  It’s called “The Marriage Altar!” for a reason.  You sacrifice yourself.  FREELY.

And everyone knows this and your relatives and friends come from near and far to help you celebrate the birth of this new family at your wedding.  The sharing of two wills and two lives and the union of a man with a woman is a big deal worthy of speeches and accolades and high fives and toasts and tears and gifts and laughter and dancing and flowers and the most beautiful dress you’ve ever seen and the exchange of rings and kneeling and prayer and blessing and vows and dignity and the giving of your life for the making of a new family.

Cohabitation says, NO WAY.  I just want the fun, adrenaline part.  Any problems?  That’s it, man.

Or as many young people (sadly) have told me, “It’s just a lot easier to break up if we’re not married.”

You want problems?  Try stealing someone else’s life away without giving your own.  Then look at your trail of tears, the bodies of those you’ve strewn aside when you were done with them.

Cohabiting couples have no integrity from the get-go.  They are both stealing from each other, using each other for their own ends.  If you are sexual with me without marriage, how do I know you won’t be sexual with someone else later when you are not married to her, just like you did with me?  Sexuality is so tender, it needs the promise and security of a life and marriage to protect it.

Cohabitation used to be called “living in sin” and “fornication.”    May I be so bold as to say IT STILL IS!

Cohabitation is the complete lack of integrity.  Integrity means whole.  Cohabitation means part:  I’ll take all of you but I’ll just give you part of myself.  The “will” part?  I’ll only marry if you jump through all these hoops and do this and that and this and that.  Here.  Let me use you for my own ends and you should be happy about it.  If you complain about it, of course, I could never marry you…

Sexuality, marriage, wholeness, integrity, blessing…they all go together.

Selfishness, abuse, control, feeling used, cohabitation, fornication, sin and did I mention selfishness?  They all go together.  Just a couple of 2-year olds playing house.  Pretending.