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''He Won't Go to Marriage Counseling''

What can I do if he won't work on our problems?

My husband and I have been together for 13 years and have two daughters. We argue a lot and spend the rest of the time not talking to each other. I want to go to counseling, but he says he doesn't believe in it because it's "not biblical." I don't know what I can do if he won't work on our problems. Help!

I appreciate your question. And I must confess it saddens me, as a Christian counselor, that your husband would spiritualize his resistance to counsel. I don't know how he supports his stance—the Bible is full of encouragement to seek wise counsel (Proverbs 12:15, 13:10, 15:22, and 19:20, for starters). But it sounds as though you won't get far by trying to prove him wrong.

What matters is that your marriage gets the help it needs, whether it's in a counselor's office or elsewhere. For example, one way to find good counsel is through a small group of other couples. When my husband and I wrote our book Love Talk, about communication in marriage, we also developed a fun and nonthreatening DVD kit for couples to watch together in a small group for six sessions. Other products exist in the same format, and we've received countless e-mails from wives who found this was an easy way to get their husbands talking. Perhaps your husband would do something like this since it's not "counseling."

Another option to consider is a "marriage mentor" couple. Your husband would be hard pressed to claim mentoring isn't biblical. There are dozens of mentoring relationships throughout the Old and New Testaments. The idea is to find a more seasoned couple you both respect who would be willing to meet with you and allow you to learn from their relationship. Many churches have a marriage-mentor ministry.

One more option is to attend a church-sponsored marriage seminar together. Many couples find a day together in a seminar that focuses on them is just the ticket for tuning up their communication. At the very least, a marriage seminar can be a catalyst to seek further help through reading a Christian marriage book together.

Secret Crush

It's hard for me to believe, but I'm struggling with a crush on a man in my church! We're both married and have kids, but we met via the hospitality committee last year and really clicked. We often find other ways to serve together—whether it's setting up chairs before Sunday school or serving beverages at a potluck. I don't think we've crossed a line, but I know I think about him way too much. What should I do?

The fact you're surprised to find yourself struggling with a "crush," as you put it, tells me you haven't been on the prowl for such a relationship and, in your heart of hearts, don't want to act upon it.

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