Are your “Marriage Attitudes” Building or Busting your Relationship?

2020-12-28T23:30:36+00:00Attitude, Communication|

They say it’s all about having the right attitude. A good attitude, whether it be toward work, life, or relationships, increases optimism, breeds success, improves communication, opens our hearts, and even helps eliminate worries and negative thinking. Basically, our attitudes dictate everything in our lives. And that includes — you guessed it — our marriage!   Having the right attitude about your marriage and your spouse, and then expressing those feelings verbally or through your actions keeps your heart open to each another every day and leads to the safe and connected marriage you deserve. There are many “right kinds of attitudes” to have if you’re going to have a [...]

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Understanding vs. Problem-Solving

2022-05-11T21:55:14+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 [...]

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 [...]

Behaviors of Love-Are you Busting or Building?

2017-11-30T17:03:32+00:00Love, Relationships|

How do you describe love? Ask ten people and you will get 10 different answers to this question about love. They will range from: A feeling Something deep and mysterious An emotion Actions you do A place that can be painful and you need to guard Lost it, long for, and must have it But most would agree LOVE IS certainly profound, multifaceted and mysterious. LOVE’S ASSOCIATIONS WITH FEELINGS As a counselor, I see love mainly through the actions in how we treat others in relationships, and also the words we use to show others value and importance. Now love itself may not be a feeling; but there are certainly [...]

15 Steps to Recognize Unsafe Relationships and Protect Yourself

2019-09-25T18:07:39+00:00Relationships|

Handling difficult situations is often distressing. It can be just plain hard on us. Many times we have fears or doubts about how we will be perceived. What’s the best way to handle an issue or, how to be assertive and take a stand but not offend those relationships.  Or we may wonder how to confront without attacking. But sometimes in these situations, it is the people we are dealing with who are the real cause of our distress. Some people are just unsafe. Think about the friend who leaves us when the going gets tough. The family member who speaks “the truth,” but there is no love that goes [...]

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 [...]

Safety is a Must for Healthy Relationships

2018-01-30T16:12:34+00:00Relationships, Safety|

A safe relationship. You might not know exactly what I mean by that, but I bet you sure know what an unsafe relationship feels like. Are you already thinking of that person? The person that makes you feel scared, closed off, or even unimportant? Is that unsafe person your spouse? If so, ok, we have work to do. Hang in there. If that unsafe person is not your spouse, hang in too. There is a huge opportunity to learn and practice some skills that will help other relationships in your life AND protect your marriage. If you are going to thrive, your marriage must remain as a safe environment. What [...]

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