“I asked God, ‘What does it mean for me to trust my husband’s leadership when I feel like I’m more equipped to lead than he is?'” – Dr. Juli Slattery

Wow! I am so excited to share today’s conversation to kick off 2022!

In this episode, we are talking about marriage and, specifically, about what we as women bring to our marriage. I’ve shared a lot over the years about my own marriage crisis. Something I’ve often said is that I did not cause Mark’s affair; however, I did contribute to the dysfunction in our marriage. One of the ways I did that is by misusing my strength.

Over the years of coaching couples, Mark and I have learned that we aren’t the only people who have struggled with that dynamic. (We often call this the “Strong Woman, Silent Man” dynamic.)

Joining me today to tackle this topic is Dr. Juli Slattery, a psychologist, author, and speaker with over 25 years of experience counseling, discipling, and teaching women. She is also the president and co-founder of Authentic Intimacy, a unique ministry that is devoted to teaching God’s design for intimacy and sexuality.

We’re talking about how women can use their strength for good in their marriage, the reason many men step back from a leadership role in marriage, how God designed men and women to support one another, how unhealthy dynamics in a marriage affect sex, and how addressing these things builds intimacy in a marriage. I hope this conversation is an encouragement to you this week!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

My Key Takeaways:

1) So many of us think, “I want my husband to lead. But I want my husband to lead the way I want him to lead.” Can you relate? I so appreciated Juli’s perspective about learning to see where our spouse is coming from and being careful to use our strength to support them rather than hurt them.

2) God designed us to be vulnerable in interpersonal relationships. It can be scary to open yourself up to another person and you may have been hurt by being vulnerable in the past. However, it is through vulnerability that trust can be built and you can be truly known. This does carry with it the possibility of wounding each other, but it also leads us down the road to a deep and trusting marriage.

3) We can use our strength to either help or hurt. When our strength is used correctly, it can help us persevere, encourage our spouse, and protect our relationship. However, when we misuse our strength or act out of fear and control, more often than not we leave destruction in our wake. This is especially true in marriage and interpersonal relationships. As we discussed on the podcast, within a marriage God has designed us to need things from our partner and to rely on one another uniquely. When we don’t receive those things, our response is to protect ourselves, become self-sufficient, or to lash out. This can unknowingly communicate to our spouse that they are not loved or that we don’t respect and trust them.

4) You can be a strong woman and still have the desire to be protected. The desire to be protected has nothing to do with how strong you are or how weak you are. God built women with the desire to be protected and to feel safe. Men have a God-given desire to be a hero and to protect. So if you do not allow yourself to be weak in any area of your marriage, your husband will never be able to show you that he can protect you and keep you safe. It’s okay if you can open the pickle jar by yourself. It’s okay if you have a thriving career that pays well. But there are times that we all need other people and it’s good to tell your husband, “I need a hug because today was a hard day.”

About Juli:

Dr. Juli Slattery is a clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and the president/co-founder of Authentic Intimacy, a ministry devoted to reclaiming God’s design for sexuality. Juli is the author of ten books and host of the weekly podcast Java with Juli. Her passion is to help redeem lives and marriages through God’s truth that were previously ruined by unfulfilled promises of love and sexual brokenness. Juli and her husband, Mike, are the parents of three sons and live in Akron, Ohio. Learn more at https://www.authenticintimacy.com/ —

 

 

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