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Putting good things into your marriage: Love and Respect, Appreciation and Gratitude, Treasure and Serve

2020-09-17T00:57:42+00:00Love, Respect|

Have you ever heard the term, stagnant marriage? It’s when things in your relationship no longer feel exciting and fresh. It’s not that you don’t love one another. But, you’re both kinda just … there. This is normal, by the way — we just need to find a way to snap out of it. But how do we do that? As we learned last week, you have to keep putting good things into your marriage. Whether that be small acts of kindness like texting, “I love you,” speaking each other’s love language, or doing something fun like reenacting your first date, we have to constantly show how important we are [...]

Putting good things into your marriage: Love and Fun

2020-08-31T22:37:58+00:00Love|

We’ve all heard the saying that you never stop working on your house. As pretty and perfect as it is, there is always something to add or improve as the years go by — upgrade the landscaping, re-paint a bedroom, remodel the kitchen, add a patio cover or a pool, fix stuff, etc. And just when we finish one thing, a new one takes its place. Wait! Why are we talking about houses? Because they are a great analogy for relationships. We should always be putting good things into our marriage, too — whether our lives together couldn’t be any more perfect or it’s time to look at how to [...]

When was the last time you did a status check on your self-talk?

2020-09-04T12:06:50+00:00Self-Talk|

How has your self-talk been lately? Yes, that self-talk — where you talk about yourself to yourself, either aloud or silently. It’s okay; you don’t have to be ashamed. We all talk to ourselves. In fact, I just had some inner dialogue with myself a few minutes ago. But is your self-talk positive, affirming, and uplifting, or are you negative most of the time?    Many of us are pretty critical with our self-talk. Consider the following inner statements:    “I’m not good enough to be in the same room with these people. I don’t belong here.”    “My opinion doesn’t matter. No one cares about me.”    “I really don’t know why my wife stays married to me. I’m inadequate.”    [...]

Self-care and the benefits in your marriage

2020-08-19T21:31:25+00:00Self-Care|

Some of you might remember an earlier post on The Fear Dance. It showed how fear not only keeps us from feeling emotionally safe in our marriage but also how easy it is to be too dependent on others for our happiness and fulfillment. We see it all the time — one spouse starts this unhealthy cycle, and the other follows. Well, as I was writing on self-care and the benefits it has for your marriage, it dawned on me how perfect a segue that previous post is for this conversation.   You may hear self-care and think, “That sounds selfish.” Well, yes and no. Being selfish means making others’ [...]

Taking personal responsibility for your thoughts and behaviors

2020-08-12T18:41:31+00:00Heart, Personal Responsibility|

As we learned last week, the first thing couples should do when they’re having issues in their relationship is to start with the heart. After all, the heart is the center of everything we do, feel, think, and desire — it should be honored and treasured. The next logical step then is to take personal responsibility for our thoughts and behaviors.   Taking personal responsibility might sound obvious on paper, but how often have you been in a heated argument and focused all your energy, anger, and emotions on what your spouse is doing or not doing? The answer is all the time!   “She started it!”  “I can’t believe [...]

Why couples should always start with the heart

2020-08-12T17:52:18+00:00Communication, Heart, Uncategorized|

Marriage is a gift from God. But no one said it was easy, even for those of us who think we have it all figured out. You know the feeling — one minute, everything is hunky-dory, and a shining example of a safe and connected marriage and the next, one or both of you is upset. There can be some really complicated “stuff” that got you to this point, and what makes matters worse is that even if you are both committed to working through it, you aren’t always sure where to start.  Most often we don't start with the heart. Here’s a tip from yours truly: couples should always [...]

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Understanding vs. Problem-Solving

2020-07-30T01:08:36+00:00Conflict, Emotion|

Everyone wants to be better at problem-solving. After all, it’s what helps drive effective communication — at work, with friends, and as couples. Many couples I see in my practice definitely want to problem solve. And yes, they do need solutions for their issues and problems; we all want those things in our lives.   While I do want to help them with problems, I’m really trying to teach people how to improve their emotional understanding.   This might surprise you, but problem-solving is the last thing I do. Starting with problem-solving is a waste of time!   Starting anywhere except attending to emotions will derail you most of the time [...]

Emotional Intelligence: Are you stressing out you and your spouse?

2020-07-20T19:18:52+00:00Emotion, Stress|

Let’s say a problem has come up in your marriage. It could be anything — your spouse isn’t 100% truthful about something, or you’re beginning to feel like your spouse doesn’t love you anymore. Regardless of how big or small the issue, it’s getting to the point where you’re withdrawing emotionally. And naturally, it’s stressing out you and your spouse. Do you keep your mouth shut? Or do you finally say something?  Stressing out you and your spouse! Most of us would like to believe we’d say something. After all, it’s the only way to get all our feelings and emotions on the table to see if the situation is [...]

Would you ROCK an emotional intelligence pop quiz?

2020-07-16T00:28:37+00:00Communication, Emotion|

If you ask any woman how well she thinks she’d do on an emotional intelligence pop quiz, she’d probably say, “Ha! I imagine I’d score somewhere near the top.” Ask her husband the same thing, and he’d likely say, “Contrary to popular belief, guys are more emotionally intelligent than you think. And that includes me.” Great! So let’s find out! Oh, wait — you mean there’s a quiz for that? Yes! There’s actually several. We published an emotional intelligence pop quiz a few years ago on our blog and included it again in this post. If you’ve taken it before, let’s see what’s changed. If this is your first time, [...]

Emotional intelligence and why we need more in our marriage

2020-07-08T00:34:25+00:00Emotion|

Raise your hand if you did a double-take when you heard the term emotional intelligence for the first time. I mean, who can be emotional and intelligent at the same time, especially when you consider emotions travel at warp speed? One minute, everything is fine between you and your spouse, and the next, she’s crying, you’re yelling, and neither of you has a clue what just happened, whose fault it is, or the wherewithal to understand where each other is coming from. While emotional intelligence sounds foreign, the importance of it is more obvious than you think. Emotional intelligence is the ability to make your emotions work for you rather [...]

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