The resent-repeat syndrome

familyIf you grew up in a family where you experienced injustice, abuse, or a sense of hurt, you’re at a high risk of developing a resent-repeat syndrome in your adult life.

You may end up repeating a familiar pattern from your past or you may go 180 degrees to an opposite pattern.

These actions result in your own children being deprived in a way that carries your emotional scars forward into the next generation.

The rule is this:

The more we resent something our parents did, the more likely we are either to unknowingly repeat it, or to try so diligently NOT to repeat it that we go to the opposite extreme.

Remember, 180 degrees from craziness is often another craziness.

[Continue Reading…]

Great Marriage Quotes

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.”
— Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu

“You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”
— Sam Keen

“Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.”
— Joanne Woodward

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are.”
— Will Ferrell

“I didn’t marry you because you were perfect. I didn’t even marry you because I loved you. I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage. And when our children were growing up, it wasn’t a house that protected them; and it wasn’t our love that protected them – it was that promise.”
— Thornton Wilder

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
— Robert Quillen

“Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up.”
— Joseph Barth

“There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.”
— Martin Luther

“Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.”
— Mark Twain

“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.”
— Zig Ziglar

“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.”
— Jennifer Smith

“Nowadays it’s hip not to be married. I’m not interested in being hip.”
— John Lennon

“A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time.”
— Anne Taylor Fleming

“More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.”
— Doug Larson

“One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall back in love again.”
— Judith Viorst

“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.”
— Oscar Wilde

“As for his secret to staying married: ‘My wife tells me that if I ever decide to leave, she is coming with me.’”
— Jon BonJovi

“You come to love not by finding the right person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”
— Sam Keen

“Love is not something you feel. It is something you do.”
— David Wilkerson

“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.”
— Robert C Dodds

“When a wife has a good husband it is easily seen in her face.”
— Goethe

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
— Thoreau

“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.”
— Leo Tolstoy

“The great secret of successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.”
— Sir Harold George Nicolson

“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”
— Dave Meure

“Love at first sight is easy to understand; it’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.”
— Sam Levenson

“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.”
— Tom Mullen

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
— Theodore Hesburgh

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
— Mignon McLoughlin

“I first learned the concept of non-violence in my marriage.”
— Gandhi


The Minimalist Marriage

happycoupleI’ve been married to Pam for 21 years.

We’ve had our shares of ups and downs, but through it all, one thing remains very clear — when you can keep it simple, it allows the important to not get lost among the immediate.

If you boil down marriage and role it plays in life, it is personal development bootcamp.

Yes, it offers up happiness, pleasure, support and encouragement – but that’s not what it’s designed to do. At the end of the day, marriage is designed to help you grow up.

When you can see what happens in your relationship through that lens, everything changes.

In order to help you keep or create a minimalist marriage (where the important isn’t replaced with the immediate) here’s some thoughts I’ve learned thus far:[Continue Reading…]

Trust … from Buck Naked Marriage

trust: (noun) firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something (Webster’s Dictionary)

In most every poll or research study conducted on relationships, a key component required for the relationship to thrive is trust. I hear it all the time from couples I work with.

“I need to be able to trust him.”

“I trusted her.”

These phrases are commonplace in marriage.

My question: “Trust your spouse to do what exactly?” It seems that trust is often used as a tool rather than a foundational belief. Let’s look at how this commonly plays out.

“I’ll tell you about me, but only if you tell me about you.”

“If you don’t, I won’t either. But I want to, so you have to.”

“I’ll go first, and then you have to tell me too: it’s only fair.”

“If I go first, you have to make me feel secure, because I need to be able to trust you.”

Sound familiar? Shouldn’t we have trust in relationships? Yes— trust is vital, —but there’s a limit to the role it should play.

Trust is frequently thrown around in marriage as an attempt to control situations and make things “safe” for oneself. We think we must be able to trust our partner, thus freeing us to be ourselves. When I say I trust my partner, I’m actually saying I’m willing to reveal more of myself to them.

So is that really about them or me? I may be splitting hairs here, but it’s an important topic to explore.[Continue Reading…]

Break free from monotony

The alarm goes off, you get ready for the day. Get the rest of the house up, kids out the door to school, head off to work. Get your job done. Battle traffic. Eat dinner. Go to the kids practice. Get them in bed. Watch a little TV. Go to sleep.

Repeat …

Repeat …

Repeat …

It’s no wonder that months pass and you look back and wonder where all the time went.

This also is what contributes to many marriages becoming more like a relationship between roommates than lovers.

So how does this happen so easily?

Largely I think it comes down to expectations and story.

Modern Americans bring to their marriages the most over-stuffed bundle of expectations the institution has ever seen. We expect that our partner will not merely be a decent person, but will also be our soul mate, our best friend, our intellectual companion, our greatest sexual partner and our life’s complete inspiration. Nobody in human history has ever asked this much of a companion. It’s a lot to ask of one mere mortal, and the inevitable disappointments that follow such giant expectations can cripple marriages. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Think of it this way:

There are no boring marriages, only boring people.

The biggest killer of passion in marriage is all the meaningless time spouses spend together. And this type of tensionless coexistence defines many marriages today.

To break free of this monotony you need to live an interesting, fulfilling life beyond your intimate relationship.

Sure there are times when a spark can be found within the relationship that takes things to another level. But most often, the path to a better, more passionate marriage begins with the people involved living better, more passionate lives.

Great marriages are the result of two mature, grown up people – both living full, satisfying lives – cooperating with each other to get their needs and wants met. In this kind of differentiated relationship, each spouse complements the other, but doesn’t complete them.

So my dear friends, live a great story and your marriage will follow.

(photo source)

Married Life 911 is now available!

ecgRight now, our newest online relationship course is available, Married Life 911.

I want to personally invite you to take advantage of this course, especially since it’s being offered this time only for $150 (which covers both you and your spouse).

Let’s put this into perspective …

How much you’d spend:

Working with a counselor for a couple of months = $1,200ish
Taking a different marriage course online or DVD = $477
Attending a marriage workshop or retreat = $250

OR you can

Join Married Life 911 = $150 (this time only)
Married Life 911 PLUS three private coaching sessions with me = $430 (this time only)

Again … this is the only time this course will be available at this price.

Enrollment ends soon so join within the next several days!

See you inside!