Everything listed under: Marriage

  • 10 Ideas for Dating Your Spouse

      How often do you break out of your normal routine and enjoy activities that are new and out of the ordinary with your spouse? Do it more often and it could be good for your marriage! Research conducted by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia has found that couples who enjoy regular date nights have stronger and happier marriages.

  • Personally Responsible vs. Blaming

    Epic Love Setting:  The Six Elements That Determine the Tone of Your Love Story Element #6:  Personally Responsible versus Blaming. I gave my wife a call to check-in and let her know that I was on my way home from the office the other day.  We were chatting as I walked across the parking lot when it dawned on me that something was wrong.

  • Commitment vs. Conditionality

    Epic Love Setting:  The Six Elements That Determine the Tone of Your Love Story Element #5:  Commitment versus Conditionality. Most people understand the importance of unconditional love in a marriage and few people marry with much consideration to the possibility of divorce.  Certainly, most believers recognize that marriage is meant to last a lifetime and that, even in the face of betrayal and infidelity, God’s ideal is a relationship that reflects His gracious, sacrificial and ...

  • Stonewalling vs. Empathy

    When defensiveness fails to protect from recurrent confrontations of contempt and criticism, stonewalling is the next layer of self-protection that finds its way into a marriage relationship.  Stonewalling is, in short, emotional disengagement...

  • Defensiveness vs. Validation

    Epic Love Setting:  The Six Elements That Determine the Tone of Your Love Story   Element #3:  Defensiveness vs Validation Defensiveness is the counterpart to criticism and contempt in a marriage.  This self-protective strategy manifests as an effort to explain, rationalize or minimize the significance of your behavior in the eyes of your spouse.  Defensiveness is any reaction to your spouse that disrupts their expression and/or constrains the process of you coming ...

  • Contemptuous vs. Vulnerable

    Epic Love Setting:  The Six Elements That Determine the Tone of Your Love Story   Element #2:  Contemptuous vs. Vulnerable Jim felt backed into a corner.  Seven years into the marriage, it didn’t seem to matter how hard he tried to please Esther, she kept upping the ante.  Desperate to get her attention, he tried to tell her that a new car was not in the budget.  Esther seemed unaffected – even bored – by Jim’s plea.  Looking away from him, she used the pa...

  • Criticism vs. Disagreement

    In the same way that the setting for a movie puts limitations on – or creates the potential for - a certain set of outcomes in a story, the setting or tone of a marriage creates the potential for longevity and joy or frustration and divorce...

  • When the Climb Feels Impossible

    I'd forgotten how much bigger things are out West.  My wife and I were 8,000 feet below the summit of Mt. Rainier when we moved out of the tree line and onto a snowfield.  We had no intention of making the 14,000 foot summit, but picked a craggy ridge toward the top of the Muir Snowfield as our goal for the hike.  The ridge looked no more than 15 or 30 minutes away and the slope leading up to it appeared challenging, but not threatening.  Though...

  • Infertility and It's Effect on Marriage

    Infertility is hard. It is really hard. It can take a hold of every part of your being and your life....

  • We are Wired for Connection

    As I walk away from the office, my mind is occupied by the day’s events and concerns.  My body is tense and a headache threatens.  Unruly thoughts and questions intrude on my awareness like enemy scouts probing for weakness...,

  • Are you listening?

    The only thing I find more disappointing than bumping into a slow driver in the left lane on I-75, is trying to share something important with someone who doesn't listen well.  They'll both take the wind right out of your sails and deflate an otherwise exhilarating opportunity...

  • The Rule of Complementarity

     Some would say that opposites attract, but I would argue that opposites form.  There is a certain rule – let’s call it the rule of complementarity – that influences marital relationships.  As relationships evolve, people tend to move toward opposite poles to maintain balance in a relationship.....

  • The George Costanza Rule

    My father is a funny guy. He likes to be goofy and tease. Because I enjoyed my Dad’s humor as a child, by the time I married my wife I had mastered the Funny Arts and received an advanced degree in Sarcasm...

  • My Other Wife Is A Harley

    There was a period of about five years when my marriage was bad.  It seemed that there was always tension in the relationship and I felt like nothing was ever enough to please my wife.  I didn’t understand why she wasn’t happy because I thought that I was a pretty good husband. I was reasonably sensitive and a lot of fun. Nevertheless, my wife still seemed unhappy and her anger was never far away.

     

  • Safety

    Last Summer I was reminded why tubing behind a ski boat is for people much younger than myself. After watching my friend Phil throw a couple of young guys off of a tube tethered behind his boat, I told him that I was ready for a ride. As I climbed out of the boat and onto the tube I was overcome by what I must now assume was some form of brief psychosis; temporarily separated from any cognitive awareness of my age, strength and weight at the time, I taunted the power of Phil’s boat and questione...

  • The Magic Wand

    If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about the way your spouse relates to you, what would you change? Perhaps you’d like your wife to quite nagging you or to be less critical. Perhaps you’d like your husband to spend more time at home or you wish he'd be more open about what’s going on in his life.

  • Pursuit and Withdrawal.

    God tagged Adam pretty hard for his refusal to engage with his wife and her seducer in the Garden. With no less zeal, he slapped a heavy sentence on Eve for her presumptuous initiative. In every marriage there is a pursuer and a withdrawer.

  • The Phone is in Your Hand

    I gave my wife a call to check-in and let her know that I was on my way home from the office the other day. We were chatting as I walked across the parking lot when it dawned on me that something was wrong. You know, that vague feeling you get when something isn’t quite right… something is missing.