Preparing for Marriage Success

Preparing for Marriage Success

My little brother just got married this weekend.  Being part of such a happy and special event is wonderful. And it got me thinking about what goes into a successful marriage.

Getting married is no longer the fore-gone conclusion it usually was in the past. But a majority of us still do get married. Whether marriage is a good thing or a not-so-good thing is another matter entirely. And how you feel about it depends a great deal on your life experience.

Ask a thirty-something single person, and you may well hear moans and groans about the lack of any suitable marriage partners anywhere on the horizon. Parents and others may be asking, “When are you going to settle down and get married?” The desire for love, companionship, commitment, physical intimacy, and perhaps children is real. If in doubt, just look at the many match-making websites and services available.

But then ask the person who has experienced domestic violence, a heart-breaking divorce, or a chronically unhappy marriage full of conflict. They will tell you you’re much better off alone.

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When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Sad Couple Holding HandsLosing a loved one in death is one of life’s most difficult experiences. It’s something each one of us either already has or someday will go through. Knowing it will happen does not make it any less painful.

Certain deaths make the news, such as those who died in the Boston bomb blasts or the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion just recently. Or country singer George Jones who died last Friday in a hospital in Nashville, TN.

But most deaths never make network news. It’s your mother or father, your husband or wife, your brother or sister, your child, your best friend who leaves this life. And you are left with the very personal loss of someone you cared about, someone who can never be replaced.

The journey of grief is just that – a journey.

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You Know Your True Priorities When …

Pointing FingerWith all the talk about priorities, how do you know what yours truly are?

It’s good to decide what you want your priorities to be. But the only way you really know your true priorities is when they are tested.

My priorities have been tested this week. My husband became ill while I was out of town, and was hospitalized. Would I leave patients who legitimately needed my help? Would I come back home to be with my husband at an extremely vulnerable time? Was the cost of the extra plane fare worth it?

We face such choices all the time, whether we realize it or not. If you want to know where your family fits in your priority list, look at your schedule.

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7 Conversation Starters with your Spouse

7 Conversation Starters with your Spouse

You know you need to talk, but some conversation starters with your spouse would help.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Yes, that’s the secret of a great relationship. You probably don’t need to be told how important it is. But although good communication between husband and wife is so important, it may not seem easy to do.

“But I have nothing to say. What do we talk about?”

That’s why you’re reading this! Some people find conversation much easier than others, and that’s a big part of communication. Classically, women are more verbal than men. For my husband Al and me, I’m usually the one who needs to be prodded to communicate. He is very good at encouraging me to talk about things. (So men, it can be done!)

If things tend to be somewhat silent between you, here are some conversation starters with your spouse. Share a bit of yourself, then be quiet and ask your partner to share something. You can talk about:

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Marriage in a Pressure Cooker

Couple Facing ApartMarriage is under assault. And as in any conflict, knowing where your enemy will attack dramatically increases your chance of successfully withstanding that assault.

Yes, the institution of marriage is being challenged, but that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about YOUR marriage. And most of the “enemies” your marriage faces are very close to home. It’s possible to be so concerned with assaults from “out there” that we overlook the very real things that can weaken our marriage from the inside.

Check these seven points of vulnerability, and see how your marriage scores:

  1. Greener Pastures. At some point something or someone “outside” will seem attractive. And if you’re not careful, seeds of doubt about your own marriage can creep into your thoughts. “What if?” becomes “why not?” (You don’t want to go there!)
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