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R Christian Bohlen
Healing the Stormy Marriage: Hope and Help for YOU When Your Loved One Has Mental Health or Addiction Issues

Adult; Self-Help, Sex & Relationships, Psychology, Philosophy, Fashion; (Market)

Instead of “Run and don’t look back!” here’s proof that marriages embroiled in mental health or addiction issues can make it—and how. If your spouse has mental health or addiction issues, this Christian-based resource is for you.

Do you agonize over thoughts like these?

  • Will we ever be happy?
  • My hopes for my life are unraveling.
  • How do I establish boundaries so I don’t feel so resentful?
  • How can I support my spouse while also getting my needs met?
  • I’m exhausted—how can I get help from God?

The husband and wife authors present recommendations from renowned mental health professionals plus riveting stories and sprinkles of humor from their own difficult, but incredible, thirty-five-year journey with multiple mental illnesses. You’ll cherish the blend of biblical insights and practical how-tos, helping you see with new eyes and feel loved and empowered. 

In this empathetic self-help book, Bohlen and his wife, Helen M. Bohlen, offer relationship advice rooted in Christian teachings for spouses of individuals with mental health or addiction issues. Bohlen opens with a relatable and hopeful admission: He and his wife have both faced issues including bipolar disorder, drug addiction, and suicide attempts, but, despite it all, they have survived and thrived as a couple for more than 35 years.

Bohlen points out that it’s actually quite common to love someone with a mental illness, as roughly half of the U.S. population will experience one over the course of their lives. Bohen makes it clear that he’s not a mental health expert, but he establishes credibility with his research and his professional experience with trauma and substance abuse as a teacher for young men at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. In a nutshell, Bohlen recommends that if “spouses of the mentally ill or addicted can be spiritually strengthened and learn practical things they can do independently, more marriages can be saved.”

This is, of course, easier said than done, so much of the book breaks down specific scenarios that apply to particular sets of circumstances, offering practical steps to navigate these difficulties. This includes understanding a spouse’s emotional triggers, enforcing boundaries, remaining focused on personal goals and dreams, and staying grounded in reality. While Bohlen emphasizes scripture, prayer, and, in a recurring section, the urgency of recognizing the “Spiritual Blessings” of “patiently persevering with your spouse or loved one in partnership with God,” he is adamant that dangerous or abusive marriages should end and that it’s urgent for many couples to seek professional help. “Praise God for inspiring professionals who research and then share what works with those of us who suffer,” he writes. For believers, this book serves as a helpful, faith-based guide for couples seeking to understand and overcome their respective challenges and remain together.

Takeaway: A warm, inviting faith-based self-help guide for married couples facing mental health challenges.

Great for fans of: Mathew S. Stanford’s Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness, Catherine P. Downing’s Sparks of Redemptive Grace.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: B
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: B