• Ed Welch, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 15
    “Aim to solve the minor versions of the major sins as well as the major outbreaks. A judgmental attitude, grumbling, irritability, bickering, and arguing usually precede violence … People who learn to repent of grumbling—and thus learn both gratitude and contentment in Christ—will rarely need to repent of assault and battery.”
  • Theda Hlavka, Saying I Do Was the Easy Part, p. 22
    “We may have been victims in the past, but we’re responsible for how we respond and react to that past … Our past doesn’t have to control or determine our future.”
  • Ed Welch, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 7
    “The flesh and the devil thrive when hurts and sins are kept in the dark. For this reason, a wife can love her husband by letting him know the consequences of his sin in her life. This is not done to hurt; it is done to heal.”
  • Norman Wright, Communication: Key to Your Marriage, p. 66
    “Controlling the tongue needs to be a continuing aim for every husband and wife because everything that is said either helps or hinders, heals or scars, builds up or tears down.”
  • Leslie Barner, A Way of Hope, p. 7
    “Change does take time, a lot of courage, and a great deal of support, but change can happen. And if you are in an abusive situation, change must happen.”
  • Gary and Barbara Rosberg, Six Secrets to a Lasting Love: Recapturing Your Dream Marriage, p. 70
    “Sometimes—especially when spouses are angry—they clam up and give each other the silent treatment, thinking that the silence will communicate their perspective. Don’t mistake silence for communication. In fact, silence is often only manipulative.”
  • Tim and Joy Downs, The Seven Conflicts, p. 184
    "Family Systems therapists believe that problems not only originate within individuals, but in relationships between individuals. In other words, the problem isn't you and the problem isn't me; the problem is us. There is something in the way we relate to one another, something in the way our strengths and weaknesses collide, that causes this problem to exist at all."
  • Ed Welch, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 14
    “Cosmetic adjustments that make the person’s behavior more socially acceptable are not enough. You must expose the heart issues that motivate violence: cravings for power, love, control, comfort, money, respect, pleasure.”
  • Ed Welch, When People are Big and God is Small, p. 198
    “You may not have come from a solid family. Your home may have been a place where you were always being criticized and always wondering what others might be thinking. If so, don’t let your experience of family corrupt your understanding of what God says about it.”
  • Tim and Joy Downs, The Seven Conflicts, p. 113
    "In marriage, even though we become one flesh, we still have private domains that belong to each of us… Nothing is easier to organize than someone else's life."
  • Stephen and Alex Kendrick, The Love Dare, p. 26
    “If you are walking under the influence of love, you will be a joy, not a jerk. Ask yourself, ‘Am I a calming breeze, or a storm waiting to happen?'”
  • Stephen and Alex Kendrick, The Love Dare, p. 78
    “Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse’s hidden faults? Do you really think it’s for endless nagging? No, it’s for effective kneeling. No one knows better how to pray for your mate than you. Has your scolding or nagging been working? The answer is no, because that’s not what changes a heart. It is time to try talking to God in your prayer closet instead.”
  • Tim Kimmel, The High Cost of High Control, p. 93
    "There are two kinds of guilt‐‐that imposed from the outside and that which is intrinsic, which comes from within. The guilt imposed from the outside is not good and can turn toxic ... But productive, healthy, good guilt comes from within and is the result of a tender conscience and an openness to God and others."
  • Tim Kimmel, The High Cost of High Control, p. 14
    “God never intended one person to control another. He didn’t wire us to respond well to it, either. In each of our hearts is an innate aversion to a person or persons from the outside compelling us to do things that primarily benefit them.”
  • Tim Kimmel, The High Cost of High Control, p. 216
    “People who play you like a pawn on a chessboard are really demonstrating a subtle form of rejection. By circumventing the consequences of their actions, you’re letting them reject you even more … When you’re being pushed around, you feel as angry about your inability (or unwillingness) to do anything about it as you do about the offense. Confrontation empowers you, simply because you’ve finally refused to continue being a victim. A high‐control spouse may continue the control, or an in‐law may continue trying to run your marriage, but now you will respond differently because you’ve stopped allowing others to control you without being held accountable.”
  • Tim Kimmel, The High Cost of High Control, p. 146
    "Love gives the other person space—room to breathe, to be unique, to have a dream or two that, though it may not be shared with the same intensity, still needs to be encouraged."
  • Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 164
    “Compromise can be a way of saying, ‘I love you.’ It’s proof that we’re willing to give ground for no other reason than that we value the ongoing relationship more than we do asserting our rights, preferences, or wishes. Compromise is the cement of fellowship.”
  • Write your thoughts down on paper to help diffuse the strong emotions involved.
  • List some of the things you have learned about how to truly  forgive and to seek forgiveness.  Discuss this list with your spouse and see if he/she has some input as well.
  • Take the Emotionally Destructive Relationship Questionnaire then plan to discuss this material with your spouse, your pastor or a trusted mentor.
  • Compromise can be a way of saying, “I love you.” Think of one  way you could express your love by compromising today.
  • There may be ways you are allowing others to control you without being accountable.  Pray for God to reveal those areas to you and show you how to handle them.
  • Be willing to confide in a pastor or counselor in your area who can lead you to biblical principles and if necessary, to local resources or  professional help.
  • Seek to understand the biblical role of a husband and a wife in marriage.
  • Search your heart for any bitterness that is there, confess it, and release it to God.
  • Pray for your mate.
  • Don’t give into the temptation to give your spouse the silent treatment.
  • Think about some of your recent conversations and ask yourself if they have been hindering or healing for your relationship.
  • Remember that you cannot change your spouse, only God can do that.
  • Repent of grumbling and learn about gratitude and contentment in Christ.
  • While you cannot single-handedly bring healing to your marriage, think about how you can begin to get healthier and invite your spouse into healthy change together.
  • If you feel like you are being controlled, establish some healthy boundaries and to learn constructive ways to express yourself.
  • Be patient.  Change takes a lot of time, but it can happen.
  • Think of one area of change you can make at this time—many small steps will lead to more permanent change.
  • Look for a way that you can extend grace toward the other person in this relationship today.
  • Be honest with yourself and confront areas that do not reflect God’s design.