Give Now

The Dangerous 3C’s: Correcting, Controlling and Criticizing

I’ve counseled many couples whose problems often boil down to 3C’s: correcting, controlling and criticizing.

A correcting spouse is one who always sees and points out faults. Correcting is necessary in parenting young children but not in marriage. It demonstrates a lack of acceptance and a lack of respect. Controlling leads to a breakdown in respect and love. The controlled spouse experiences emotions from worthlessness and depression to anxiety and fear. Criticizing attacks character. It immediately puts the receiver in a defensive mode. When correcting, controlling or criticizing occurs in your marriage, bitterness sets in and hearts will harden.  Men, treated without respect, are unable to love their wives. Wives, who don’t feel loved respond disrespectfully to their husbands. Dr. Emerson Eggerich calls it the Crazy Cycle. Now thankfully there are solutions.

Paul told the Ephesians to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3) This applies at church, business, school and certainly at home. It can be practiced by being the first to apologize, choosing healing words, learning each other’s love language, resolving misunderstandings quickly, and treating each other as friends rather than as children or enemies. Treat your spouse as you would want to be treated. Seek the Lord for wisdom and ask Him to give you words to communicate in love and respect. If you recognize that your spouse is violating biblical financial principles, find a kind way to offer solutions, and above all, “…submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)

My wife and I wrote a book called Money Problems Marriage Solutions. In it, we offer 7 Keys to Aligning Your Finances and Uniting Your Hearts. It’s available at