Being Married to Her Ought to be Simple Right? (Wrong!)

2021-06-16T01:54:52+00:00Relationships|

Everyone’s heard of and likely experienced the fairy tale courtship. Basically, guy meets girl … he sweeps her off her feet … there’s passion and romance … great friendship … she feels loved and cherished. He understands her like no other woman. And then, the wedding happens. And the man can’t wrap his brain around how life became so confusing. As a man and marriage counselor, I certainly can see the confusion that we men have regarding women. Men are generally solution-oriented. We see a task, and we fix it. We simply need to get it done, and we don’t let things get in the way. But therein lies the [...]

Are you and your spouse stuck in the Crazy Cycle?

2021-06-16T00:45:02+00:00Love, Respect|

As we’ve learned over the past couple of weeks, a wife has one important need — to feel loved. Conversely, a husband has his own important need that must be met — to feel respected. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has researched, taught, and written about this fact for more than 40 years, and he believes that this love and respect cycle continues uninterrupted until each of these needs is met. This interaction is known as the Crazy Cycle, and it shows how important it is for the man to love his wife and the wife to respect her husband. Without those basic essentials, they cannot be happy, content, and confident about [...]

The Secret Sauce to a Woman’s Greatest Need: LOVE!

2021-06-15T18:55:08+00:00Love, Relationships|

In last week’s blog post, we kick-started a conversation on the differences between spouses and how it’s usually those differences that cause the most conflict with couples we see. Plainly, men and women think differently and have very specific needs that need to be met and understood to improve generosity, love, and grace toward each other. Borrowing a page or two — or three — from Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn’s books for women only and for men only, we’ve already dove into a man’s greatest need — respect. Now, let’s talk about “a woman’s greatest need.” What a wife needs — LOVE! I often share funny stories with couples that [...]

A Man’s Greatest Need: RESPECT

2021-05-31T20:05:17+00:00Respect|

In all my years as a counselor, I continue to see that the differences between spouses cause us the most conflict. On the surface, we just think our spouse is being difficult on purpose. But in reality, we each have very specific needs that aren’t being met, which leads to fighting. It’s only when couples understand that there is a deeper meaning behind those differences that they learn to adjust how they think about their spouse. In turn, their attitudes and actions moving forward make the relationship close, connected, and happy. The books for women only and for men only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn are excellent resources to help [...]

Understanding The Father’s Heart

2021-05-31T17:16:02+00:00Identity, Relationships|

Following up on our blog from last week on prayer, Susan and I wanted to share a powerful lesson from Valley Creek Church called The Father’s Heart. So many times, couples forget who they are and get caught up in what they have TO DO and what God wants them TO DO that they begin to lose sight of their identity and purpose. In other words, who they are, and who they have been created to be. This visual below and the script that goes with it are a great way of reminding us that we shouldn’t be thinking in terms of “earning” our way into God’s presence or in [...]

What is the Purpose of Prayer and Why Do I Need More of it in My Life?

2021-05-14T17:47:24+00:00Communication, Personal Responsibility|

What does prayer look like in your life? Is it only at church on Sundays? Or, do you also interact with God at other times — maybe during a quiet time in the morning, while driving to work, or while sitting out on the patio? Prayer is incredibly important. We know that. We also know that personal contact with Jesus changes everything! Yet, many of us, myself included right now, may not be in the close, love relationship with Christ we would really like to be in. In fact, many couples we talk to are constantly distracted by the trials and problems of everyday life. As a result, their understanding [...]

Everyone can use some quiet time (mindful time)!

2021-05-12T11:21:24+00:00Perspective, Self-Care|

While writing this post, I was reminded of a conversation recently where a friend was telling us about how they sent their 9-year-old son to his room for a few hours for some “quiet time.”  Quiet time is the childhood version of being mindful.  He wasn’t in trouble or anything, but apparently, the little guy was having himself a field day as he frenetically ran around the house and seemingly got into everything imaginable. Kids — gotta love em! Anyway, mom and dad clearly needed a quiet moment to themselves, and so did their son. I bring this up because this family clearly has the right idea. One of the [...]

Which of the three journeys are you on in your marriage?

2021-05-02T20:18:37+00:00Personal Responsibility|

As we’ve learned over the last few blogs, personal change, growth, and taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually, and especially emotionally are what God wants for each of us on our journey. He wants that for us because all these things are good for us as individuals, help us be more Christ-like, and also set the foundation for having a safe and connected marriage. And all of us definitely want that, right? I was going over these elements on a Facebook Live recently. They blend perfectly with a concept that I learned from the National Institute of Marriage on the marriage journey. There are three distinct journeys that make [...]

How the best “me” still makes the best “us.”

2021-05-02T19:29:42+00:00Identity|

There’s this misconception among couples where one or both think they must give up their individuality (i.e. differentiation) to be together. Even if they don’t believe that to be true, they struggle with the idea that two beings becoming one can still remain two. “It’s not about me,” they think. “It’s about the relationship. How do I not lose myself and still be good to my partner and make the relationship good?” You can be you but still be y’all. In fact, being the best me makes the best us. Giving up your individuality to be together is as defeating in the long run as giving up your relationship to [...]

Your Successful Personal Change comes down to How You Think

2021-04-04T22:04:55+00:00Change, Success|

No one said creating successful personal change in our lives is easy. Even when we want to change personally, professionally, and in our relationships, fear often prevents us from acting. Peering into the future can even be daunting, making us even more resistant to change. But the good news is that we all have the capacity to grow and develop — and it comes down to how we think. As we learned in last week’s post, change is a process that takes a healthy combination of time, patience, and intentionality. So, rather than bite off too big of a chunk all at once, start slow, be methodical, and think in [...]

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