Every Day, Take Action

Kissing-CoupleMarriage isn’t always rainbows and butterflies.

But what do you do when married life hands you a load of junk?

Start with a deep breath … own your own junk, then find a suitable sized box to pack up the rest.

Married life isn’t always sunny

Last year, within a few short days, my married life went from rocking along to complete upheaval.

[Continue Reading…]

Be Real

Man, I can’t stand when she does that. Should I speak up and tell her?

Absolutely not! You speak up, she’ll get mad. And if she gets mad, you can kiss the chance for sex tonight goodbye dude.

This is a snippet of a conversation that often took place in my head.

It was between myself and the Nice Guy (also known as the Pleaser).

For many years, the Nice Guy won out.

I avoided conflict like the plague.

I feared that my life or desires would rock the boat and create problems for others … namely my wife. And if I did something that people around me didn’t like, they’d run away as fast as they could.

What I’ve discovered however, is that when I spend all my time focused on others and their perception of me, I am not presenting them something real to create a perception of.

Know this – It’s tough to be in a relationship with a moving target. And frankly, many of us are in a relationship just like this.

Are you guilty of these marriage mistakes?

Almost 22 years of my life has been spent in marriage.

Overall, these years have been good, if not great at times.

There are other times however, when marriage has been anything but good. Sadly, a majority of these times where brought on by my own stupidity.

I’ve made many of the following mistakes throughout the course of my marriage. Thankfully I have a loving and forgiving wife.

As a rule, remember that everyone makes mistakes.

Every marriage has arguments.

Every marriage also has highs and lows.

The important thing: how the ebb and flow of marriage is addressed.

I’ve written before about the marriage killers as well as the secret to a lasting marriage, but how the mistakes we make in marriage are addressed is key to improving your relationship.

Here are some of the common mistakes made in marriage.[Continue Reading…]

What’s wrong and how do I fix it?

The dominant question for humans isn’t what’s my purpose or why am I here, it’s what’s wrong and how do I fix it.

This question shapes our worldview, our parenting, even our relationships.

We live in a fix it society. As if everything going wrong in the world can be “fixed.”

This idea is largely responsible for the consumerism in society. If you believe there is something wrong or missing in your life, then some company or industry has a product that will correct what’s wrong, or at least make you feel better about it.

Watch any amount of TV and you’ll be bombarded with this idea. I’m all for doing our part to take care of the world we live in, but focusing solely on what’s wrong is a black hole.

When it comes to marriage, this type of thinking is common. How often do you hear or say “When are you going to…?” or “You always…” Arguments in marriage come along due to focusing on what’s wrong.

It’s important to realize that in committed relationships, roughly two thirds of the problems are unresolvable. Two thirds!

With the amount of issues in marriage that aren’t resolvable, how do you create a lasting and passionate marriage?

It boils down to choice and focus. [Continue Reading…]

How To Keep Arguments From Escalating

repairattemptsRemember what it was like as a teenager dreaming about driving? How much you looked forward to the day you’d have your own wheels and could head out whenever you wanted?

While learning to drive, one important lesson you must learn is how to stop the car.

It’s the first thing you’re taught. Remember the driver’s ed cars that have an extra brake pedal on the passenger’s side?

The reason – learning to apply the brakes is vitally important to all those in the car, and around the car.

Putting on the brakes is an important skill in marriage and relationships as well.

When your conversation starts off on the wrong foot or you find you’re both in a cycle of blame and defensiveness, you can often prevent a disaster if you know how to stop.

Marriage researcher John Gottman calls these brakes – repair attempts.

And they’re the secret weapon of happy couples.[Continue Reading…]

We have trouble communicating

The number one issue voiced by most couples … “We have trouble communicating.”

It’s a common complaint.

And many couples think they would benefit from some communication training.

Many seem to think if they could better express themselves or if their spouse would only listen and understand what they mean then things in the marriage would dramatically improve. “Maybe if I learned to be more assertive and use more ‘I’ statements we’d have less problems.”

While the thought may be genuine and the results of actually implementing some of these techniques may improve the marriage a bit, in my experience – the improvements won’t be lasting.

When you get right down to it, communication in marriage is not about being understood by each other.

If that were indeed the case then you would have very little to argue about.

Communication is about handling what another person thinks and feels.

You see, married couples don’t have trouble communicating. They communicate all too well.[Continue Reading…]