Self-care and knowing your deepest needs and beliefs

2021-03-03T23:31:28+00:00Self-Care|

As part of our ongoing conversation about good communication, we wanted to bring up self-care once again. You may remember Susan and me writing about self-care in August. And it’s just as important to talk about now because when couples find themselves arguing too much or not connecting quite like they used to, the odds are pretty high that one or both of them has stopped taking care of themselves. And it’s hurting their marriage. Self-care means eating healthy, exercising, being independent, etc. But on a deeper level, it involves taking control of your feelings, thoughts, and emotional well-being so that you not only love yourself but love others well [...]

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’ [...]

What is ‘trust’ in a marriage?

2020-04-15T22:17:25+00:00Safety, Trust|

My wife, Susan, and I trust each other. Granted, she may not always be able to trust me to take out the trash, and maybe I can’t necessarily trust her to pick out a television show we both want to watch on a chill Friday night at home. But when it comes to the important stuff in our marriage — what makes us both feel safe, connected, honored, valued, and loved — we trust each other implicitly. I trust that she’s there for me, and she trusts that I’m always there for her. This is a small snippet of what counselors like me mean when we talk about trust in [...]

Boundaries and Safe People: How they go together

2020-04-09T22:06:40+00:00boundaries, Safety|

Now that we have learned what boundaries are, how to set them, and their importance in terms of helping us feel safe and connected in our marriage, there’s one more thing to discuss: knowing the difference between safe and unsafe people and how boundaries and safe people go together.   We’re betting you read that sentence and said, “Well, Mike and Susan, I think I can tell the difference between a safe person and an unsafe one pretty easily.” We bet you can, too! But true character discernment — knowing who is good for us and who isn’t — can only be accomplished after you’ve established boundaries. It is then, [...]

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 [...]

Marriage How To Essentials for Relationship Safety

2019-08-02T13:46:32+00:00Care, Safety|

  We examined what a safe marriage might look or sound like; and what skills we can learn and practice to help that most important relationship in our lives. What if we are going to thrive? Our marriages or other close relationships must remain a safe environment. We aren’t talking about physical, but emotional and relational safety.  Evaluate Your Marriage  If you haven’t done this yet, evaluate how your marriage stacks up to what we said emotional and relational safety sounds like. Such as: My feelings, ideas, and concerns matter to my spouse We honor one another. Anger is not out of control. I don’t feel judged but understood. Discover [...]

4 Strategies for Courageous Change

2017-03-20T16:29:44+00:00Change|

Do you ever dig up a shrub in your yard or empty a plant pot on your patio and not refill it immediately with another plant or soil? What happens in a few days? On my patio the hole will be filled with debris, leaves and maybe a few bugs in a very short time. The hole doesn’t stay empty; it fills up with whatever is swirling around in the breeze. Our lives are much like this. When our lives are functional but not as productive as we’d like, we may decide to make changes. When we decide to “get rid” of something that’s not working so well then it [...]

5 Essential Truths of Self-Care

2018-12-14T21:53:35+00:00Care|

Ask most people about taking good care of themselves and being healthy, and they can probably tell you how they do that physically (or at least they know how they should do it). Even mentally or spiritually we generally know what we can or should do. But what about emotionally?? How do we do good self-care at a deeper, more fundamental level? I believe there are practical ways to accomplish this. 5 Essential Components to Good Self-Care: Receiving from others. We all have needs, desires, and preferences. Not allowing others to give to you means you run on empty. It also takes away the gift of others giving to you. [...]

5 Steps to Relational Safety

2018-01-30T15:58:40+00:00Relationships, Safety|

Last time we examined what a safe relationship might look or sound like; and what skills we can learn and practice to help the relationships in our lives. That if we are going to thrive, our marriages or other close relationships must remain a safe environment. This focus we are talking about is not physical, but emotional and relational safety. If you haven’t already, go back and evaluate what we said emotional and relational safety sounds like. Such as: My feelings, ideas, and concerns matter. We honor one another. Anger is not out of control. I don’t feel judgment, but understanding and compassion. Discover together what you do, or don’t [...]

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