Archives For Brad Hambrick

This is the fifth post in a sixteen part series on “Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse.” In the posts three through five we will examine the criteria and categories Scripture uses to define a severe case.

It is an understatement to say that it is difficult to decipher what it going on in an argument with a self-centered spouse. If that is true for the objective counselor listening to the “slow motion replay,” then it is incredibly difficult for the spouse trying to make sense of these interactions “on the fly” in day-to-day life.

Prospect Theory, from the field of economics, can offer some helpful insight. Simply stated this theory asserts that people respond to the same situation differently based upon whether they view it as an opportunity or a threat. When “framed” as a threat people generally respond to a situation in a more reserved manner. When “framed” as an opportunity people generally respond with more creative ideas.

So what is going on in during a conflict with a self-centered spouse?

The aggressively self-centered spouse frames a threatening interaction (i.e., harsh conflict) as an…

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This is the fourth post in a sixteen part series on “Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse.” In the posts three through five we will examine the criteria and categories Scripture uses to define a severe case.

The previous post on Matthew 7:1-6 brings an uncomfortable, dangerous freedom. We should be leery to step outside the log-speck domain for relationships. When we step outside these parameters it means that something is severely broken. But when a relationship is destructive, Jesus’ words are to provide a needed freedom.

The question becomes, “When should we apply them? Most of us are slow to repent at times. We shouldn’t use this passage to justify our impatience or bitterness and just start ‘writing people off.’ But there do seem to be cases where this freedom is needed. How do we differentiate unpleasant and rude from unhealthy and destructive?”

The following criteria are meant to provide guidance on when to apply Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:6. The more of these that are present the more likely you are in a Matthew 7:6 relationship.

Aggressive “Dog” Actions:

This is the third post in a sixteen part series on “Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse.” In the posts three through five we will examine the criteria and categories Scripture uses to define a severe case.

We have looked at Jim, a passive self-centered spouse, and Eddie, an aggressive self-centered spouse. But if we were talking to them instead of about them, doubtless we would hear the rebuttal, “This can’t be all me. Counselors always take the side of the crying woman. She’s not innocent. What about all the stuff that she does that upsets me? Am I supposed to let all that go, and she gets to unload on me?”

This poses a difficult question in counseling a self-centered marriage. No spouse is ever completely innocent, yet we have focused on Jim and Eddie to such a degree that we have not even given their wives’ a name. Is this counselor bias? Is it a violation of the biblical teaching on forgiveness (Matt 18:21-22)?

No, it is the direct application of Matthew 7:6 and the conclusion to Matthew 7:1-5. In this passage, Jesus…

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MarriageThis is the third post in a sixteen part series on “Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse.” In the posts three through five we will examine the criteria and categories Scripture uses to define a severe case.

We have looked at Jim, a passive self-centered spouse, and Eddie, an aggressive self-centered spouse. But if we were talking to them instead of about them, doubtless we would hear the rebuttal, “This can’t be all me. Counselors always take the side of the crying woman. She’s not innocent. What about all the stuff that she does that upsets me? Am I supposed to let all that go, and she gets to unload on me?”

This poses a difficult question in counseling a self-centered marriage. No spouse is ever completely innocent, yet we have focused on Jim and Eddie to such a degree that we have not even given their wives’ a name. Is this counselor bias? Is it a violation of the biblical teaching on forgiveness (Matt 18:21-22)?

No, it is the direct application of Matthew 7:6 and the conclusion to Matthew 7:1-5. In this passage, Jesus is dealing with troubled relationships. In three stages,…

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This is the second post in a sixteen part series on “Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse.” In the first two posts we will examine two case studies to illustrate the severity of marital strain involved in chronic cases of self-centeredness.

A CASE STUDY

Eddie was good, but he was not nice at home. If you watched Eddie from a distance, you would see that he was successful at many (maybe most) of the things he did. If you heard Eddie speak to a group or in a private conversation, you would walk away impressed at his breadth of knowledge, quick wit, and convincing delivery.

This meant that most people who knew Eddie casually, liked Eddie. And most people who knew Eddie only knew him casually.. However, when something went wrong at home Eddie used his public popularity and success as “evidence” that he could not be the problem. This made things messy and volatile at home

Making matters worse, his quick wit and ever-confident demeanor overpowered his wife and children.  Conflict that made them uncomfortable didn’t affect Eddie so he could talk circles around…

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This is the first post in a eighteen part series on “Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse.” In the first two posts we will examine two case studies to illustrate the severity of marital strain involved in chronic cases of self-centeredness.

A CASE STUDY

Jim wasn’t mean. He wasn’t harsh, violent, or cutting with his words. Even his wife would admit that Jim had to be really backed into a corner before she would see his temper, and then it was clear he was trying to get away instead of “win.”

Jim was absent. He was distant, cold, and hard to get to know. More than being an introvert, Jim had a hard time relating to people. Emotions made him highly uncomfortable, even his own. He could work with people on a project, but had very few friends.

His sense of humor and things he found interesting were either private or hard to translate to other people. Science, music, writing, art, television, technology, and games that could be mastered were the things he enjoyed. These interests shared one thing in common; they…

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