Put the Fun Back in Your Marriage

Put the Fun Back in Your Marriage

Everything in the commercial world is colored red and pink right now. “Love” is in the air. From the marketing messages you would think you’re heartless unless you shell out a bunch of cash for flowers, candy, cards, chocolate-covered strawberries, pajamas, and who knows what else. As with most holidays, retail has hijacked Valentine’s Day. But it does point out how important it is to put the fun back in your marriage. 

Continue reading...
What Do You See in Your Spouse?

What Do You See in Your Spouse?

There are many ways you could describe the one you’re married to. You might see them as your confidant, friend, provider, support, or lover. You might think of them as your project, problem, irritant-in-chief, enemy, or “thorn in the flesh.” What do you see in your spouse? How you look at them makes a difference.

Continue reading...
What is Your Communication Style?

What is Your Communication Style?

Relationships can’t survive without communication. In marriage—the closest relationship on earth, communication breakdowns are both common and destructive. When asked, 70% of couples indicated they wanted better communication in their marriage. Are you one of them?

Continue reading...
5 Ways to Keep Family Dysfunction from Ruining Christmas

5 Ways to Keep Family Dysfunction from Ruining Christmas

Family is a big deal around Christmas. The memories you have of Christmases past – both good and bad – almost certainly revolve around family, as do your expectations of this Christmas. Family stuff at Christmas can be filled with both heartache and happiness. How can you keep family dysfunction from ruining Christmas?

Continue reading...
If Opposites Attract, How Can We Get Along?

If Opposites Attract, How Can We Get Along?

Do opposites really attract? In many marriages it seems so. No two people are exactly alike, but if opposites attract how can you build a functioning harmonious marriage?

You were initially attracted to your spouse in part by ways in which they were different from you. Vive la différence! Now those differences make life more challenging. He always seemed so strong and stable, not swayed by feelings, a perfect complement to your emotional vulnerability. Now his stability seems cold and distant. Her spontaneity and fun-loving nature gave you a new window on life your reserved personality needed. Now her mood changes drive you crazy.

Intellectually you may accept that you don’t have the right to make your spouse over in your own image; only God has that right. And yet deep personality differences can easily make many marriages much less than peaceful. But when approached in a healthy way differences don’t have to lead to conflict.

How can the two of you become one when you are so different? Fighting, withdrawing, and miserable détente aren’t good options. Conflicts over intimacy, money, household responsibilities, in-laws, and more are frequently rooted in core personality differences, and learning to deal with those differences constructively will improve your relationship greatly.

Here are some ways to move forward in several specific push-pull areas many couples struggle with. Simply understanding your spouse’s unique personality better may well decrease the tension between you. And then we’ll discuss three foundational ideas important in dealing with any “differences” between you and your spouse.

Continue reading...