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Boundaries and why they are essential for your marriage

2020-03-13T15:27:14+00:00Communication, Safety|

I didn’t realize before I became a marriage counselor how many couples don’t have boundaries. Don’t get me wrong; everyone has boundaries. But in marriage, we tend to overlook their importance. We think our spouse is supposed to know our needs and wants already, or we feel having boundaries creates unhealthy walls in our marriage. On the contrary, all healthy relationships have boundaries. And it is our ability to communicate what those boundaries are — and our spouse’s ability to respect them — that keep us from allowing unhealthy feelings or actions into our relationships. Boundaries keep the good in and the bad out This is the first in a [...]

Doing the ‘little things’ to express your love really adds up

2020-03-25T19:54:07+00:00Appreciation, Generosity|

When you first get married, you shower your spouse with expensive gifts. Sure, doing the little things to express your love is good, too, but you focus more on cruises, buying jewelry, and even doing a weekend getaway twice a month. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to realize how expensive everything is getting, right? So you stop — or at least slow down a lot. The question now becomes, “what have you been doing instead to express your love? If your answer is nothing or not a lot, you’re overlooking all those little things that make us feel loved every day. Admit it … it’s the little things that make [...]

What does every heart really desire?

2020-02-24T22:06:09+00:00Heart, Intimacy, Uncategorized|

If you’ve been following our blog, especially over the past month, you’ve probably noticed we’ve written a lot about the heart. Not the physical, pumping organ inside your chest but more about how couples need to treat each other’s heart as a treasure that must be honored and protected. The heart is at the center of everything we feel, think, and desire deep down — and what condition it’s in determines the quality of every marriage. So what does every heart really desire?   “Our lives are shaped by the things we desire.” — Thomas Merton   In their book, The Seven Desires of Every Heart, Mark and Debra Laaser [...]

Work Talk vs. Heart Talk: Avoiding Miscommunication In Your Marriage

2020-02-20T02:07:06+00:00Communication, Heart|

A husband and his wife are sitting on the couch talking about their day when the wife says, “You wouldn’t believe what my boss did to me today!” She continues explaining her horrible experience, and, wanting to help, he rattles off solution after solution. He thinks that he’s hubby of the year right now, but to his surprise, she gets more upset. “You don’t get it,” she says. “Quit trying to fix things!” Sound familiar? This is a classic case of work talk vs. heart talk. Work talk and heart talk are the two languages we as couples speak. Each is important to ensure great communication in a marriage, but [...]

Do you listen to your spouse’s heart when it’s talking to you?

2020-02-13T20:04:17+00:00Heart, Relationships, Uncategorized|

Couples come to me regularly to discuss issues where they don’t see eye to eye — their finances or children or, you name it. Yuck! All of us can relate to that, right? It’s all too common for us to not see situations in the same light.  Our heart on that matter is not the same. We have different movies playing in our heads. We all make meaning according to our own personality and our own circumstances we have been through. Examples of the Heart of the Matter The wife says to her husband that he spends money too frivolously, and their conflict was dragging on because he insisted that [...]

5 Ways To Fall Back In Love With Your Spouse

2020-02-04T21:51:26+00:00Love, Relationships, Uncategorized|

We all remember when we couldn’t imagine spending a millisecond away from the love of our life. We’d hang out, talk on the phone until all hours of the night, go on trips, sacrifice time for each other, buy gifts, and even make up cute nicknames. It’s an amazing feeling to be that in love! But as we’ve written before, somewhere along the way — marriage, careers, children, etc. — we settle into routines, spend less time together, and are less intentional with one another. We lose sight of the expressions of love that made us feel so good about each other.  This may make you even begin to wonder, [...]

Does Being in Love Come from the Brain or Heart?

2020-01-30T22:34:12+00:00Emotion, Heart|

Most people don’t think about what is happening in their brains when they are in love. It’s all about the heart, right? After all, Cupid doesn’t shoot an arrow at your brain on Valentine’s Day — he points it at your heart! And everything that happens when you are in love, as your heart races and the mere sight of that special someone takes your breath away, can only be described as a giant ball of feel-good emotions. So, it’s natural that anyone with a brain would shout HEART if asked, “does being in love come from the brain or heart?” Do you really know why and how you love [...]

6 Ways To Manage Emotions In A Relationship

2020-01-22T21:49:44+00:00Emotion, Relationships|

A friend confided in us recently that he was finding it increasingly difficult to deal with his wife’s emotions, which lately had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. She’d get upset, whether it was because of him, the kids, or some outside force she expected him to know about and immediately empathize with, and he’d freeze like a deer in headlights. Sadly, he’d accuse her of being ultra-sensitive because, well, he just didn’t get what the problem was, and she’d leave the room in a huff. It was interesting that he brought all this up since we talk to couples all the time about how to manage emotions in [...]

5 Ways To Have A Safe And Connected Marriage

2020-01-16T17:19:47+00:00Relationships, Safety|

Having your heart broken because of a bad relationship is something all of us can relate to, right? Few experiences hurt more or last as long — especially when it happens more than once. And as much as we want to sit in a dark room and cry our eyes out while eating a tub of cookie dough…it does little to ease the pain. So what we end up doing is building these invisible emotional walls to protect our hearts. And sometimes, we carry those barriers into a marriage. Protecting ourselves from unsafe relationships is natural, but God created us to be open and intimate with each other. We must [...]

Powerful, Direction-Changing Results of Appreciation

2020-03-25T19:55:54+00:00Appreciation, Generosity|

Every time we express appreciation to our spouse it: Builds Trust Creates Intimacy Opens up Communication Supports Mutual Sharing The Problem with Appreciation Appreciation is recognizing the great qualities in someone. But, there's a problem with appreciation. Unless you tell someone what you appreciate about them, it's ONLY A NICE THOUGHT. When you tell someone what you appreciate about them, that action becomes a force, enricher, and influencer in the relationship that can change the overall theme and direction. It's proven time again in Mike's practice, our work with married couples, and even our marriage. When you tell your spouse things you appreciate about them, it changes the rhythm of [...]

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