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Express feelings with your Spouse to unlock Secret Places

2021-08-19T18:16:22+00:00Emotion|

It’s one thing to share your thoughts when trying to communicate with your spouse. But how would you rate your ability to actually express feelings? You know, letting loose on all that makes you vulnerable, scared, happy, loved, desired, safe, etc. Regardless of whether or not you gave yourself a passing score, I think we can all agree that expressing feelings is hard — even for women, who, let’s be honest, are great at it in comparison to many men. That’s because it still takes a lot of courage to share what’s going on beneath the surface. How will my spouse respond? Will I be validated or simply brushed off? [...]

Listening is the Life Blood of Communication – Especially in Marriage

2021-08-08T17:41:21+00:00Communication|

Since the theme for this month is on communicating better as spouses, we wanted to share a few insightful words from Everett Worthington. Everett is a clinical psychologist and professor who, just like Susan and me, specializes in counseling couples. And a large part of his focus is to teach people how to communicate their love by listening. This is a valuable lesson because we typically stop listening to each other when we experience troubles in our marriage. We tune each other out or only listen to a few points before going on the defensive. When we do this, the message to our spouse is: “I don’t care enough about [...]

Communication Fails vs Love Bank 2.0

2021-08-04T22:29:54+00:00Communication, Love|

A common statement I hear from couples who are having problems in their marriage is that they aren’t communicating.  This can indicate Love Bank balance issues. “We just aren’t communicating like we used to!” “Gee, ya know … we just aren’t talking. And when we do, we end up fighting over something.” “I don’t think either of us is communicating how we really feel.” Communication breakdowns are normal. They happen to all of us. But we shouldn’t allow those breakdowns to last for too long. We need to investigate the root cause and do something about it. After all, communication is vital in marriage! It’s the only way we can [...]

Build and Maintain Trust: Essential to a Great Marriage

2021-07-09T00:13:17+00:00Trust|

We’ve been talking a lot over the past few blog posts about how important trust is in a marriage. It creates safety, openness, vulnerability, love, and all those other feel-good vibes that make living life with the person you love that much more special. We have also talked through how anger in a relationship erodes trust and makes trust extremely hard to build. Without trust, there’s no way any of us can expect our relationship to survive. But just because you and your spouse trust each other today doesn’t mean it will naturally be that way forever. Trust is earned over time, and then we must build and maintain it [...]

How to Build Trust in my Most Important Relationship

2021-07-08T23:42:27+00:00Trust|

It is my personal belief that no two people are perfectly suited only for each other. I know that’s not what most people like to think; after all, we hear and say things like, “We are perfect for each other,” and “There couldn’t be two people more perfectly suited for one another” all the time. But there isn’t “one perfect person” out there in the universe that we must “find.” Rather, by learning skills, developing tools, and doing the right things, any two people can come together as a couple and have a satisfying relationship. So, if I’m correct in my belief, why then do some couples learn these abilities [...]

Angry Behaviors can be like an Atom Bomb in Your Marriage

2021-07-08T22:58:48+00:00Anger|

We’ve talked a lot already about anger. And for the most part, the conversation is nothing new, right? We all know what anger is and what it looks like. Whether we can control it 100% of the time is a different story, but we all get what anger is. What most people genuinely don’t understand, however, are the long-term effects of anger and harmful, unsafe behaviors on their marriage. Are angry behaviors hurting your relationship? For a fair amount of relationships, the answer is “yes.” And the effects can last for a long time. If you need proof, think about your relationship for a second. If you become angry and [...]

Understanding Anger and How to Handle this Volatile Emotion

2021-07-05T13:22:46+00:00Anger|

I wonder if you believe TRUST is important to your closest relationships. I bet you would say “Of Course!” Ok, then let’s talk about anger. I know that’s probably the last thing anyone wants to discuss, especially if you’re having a really good day and want to keep things happy-go-lucky. Not to mention, our library of blog posts has become a haven for plenty of practical, feel-good ways to keep your marriage safe and connected. So who wants to start the day with a downer? We certainly don’t. But whether we like it or not, a common occurrence in many couples or family interactions is anger. And it very well could [...]

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 [...]

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