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I wish you would stop …

lonelyEvery marriage, every relationship, is fraught with perpetual problems and issues.

It’s common that I will counsel a couple for several sessions, they reach their desired goals, and leave with renewed hope and energy for the marriage – then come back several years later still arguing about the same issues.

While each person has changed and gained (or lost) a few pounds and wrinkles, they’re still having the same argument.

Perhaps you’ve even seen this in your parent’s marriage, or in your grandparent’s. They fought about the same thing their entire life.

One of the leaders in the field of marriage research, John Gottman, states that the majority of marital conflicts are perpetual in nature. In fact, 69% of all marital problems fall into this category.

Now before this is totally deflating to you, hear me out.[Continue Reading...]

Marriage Help, When Your Spouse Isn’t Interested

I regularly receive emails from readers looking for help with a struggle in their marriage. They disclose the issues they are having as well as their desire to work on making things better.

The biggest reason many people in this type of situation fail to go to counseling is their spouse is uninterested in joining the process.

Perhaps they have tried counseling before and not seen any results. Or they may have no interest in counseling since it’s only for “crazy” people.

At least that’s what they think.

You want to work on the marriage, but your spouse isn’t interested in the route you’d prefer.

So what do you do if you find yourself in this situation?[Continue Reading...]

Enjoy life

I had this story sent to me recently. It’s worth sharing.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. . I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked the Mexican.[Continue Reading...]

Commit to a path

ecgOver the last several years I’ve invested a lot of effort in the area located between professional therapy in an office with a trained therapist and the information you would learn if you were to buy a book.

The picture in my mind is like creating the Legal Zoom of the mental health/marriage therapy world. This path has involved many failures, but also several successes. Simple Marriage definitely is among the successes, as is Blow Up My Marriage, SCORE, and He Said She Said to name a few more.

This summer I’m putting together all the successes in to one resource that takes all the information from the prior courses and condenses it in to one easy to use, self paced, fully supported eCourse that will breathe new life into your relationship – Married Life 911.[Continue Reading...]

Ultimatums in Marriage

angrycoupleWhen things happen in married life, whether bad or good, a common reaction is to blame (or give credit) someone else.

While they may have been a contibuting factor to the result of a situation, when we fail to acknowledge our own role in life’s circumstances, we damage our own growth and chance for lasting happiness.

How can that be, you ask?

There are countless times in married life when you’re faced with the idea of compromise.

Shouldn’t you simply go along to get along?

But at what price?

Often the price is the deepest part of our self. Our core. Our integrity.

Popular belief – the way through conflict and in to the world of happiness is to learn to speak each other’s language better. Or to learn the art of reflective listening. While I’m not completely against these concepts, it seems a bit too elementary for the nitty-gritty of married life.[Continue Reading...]

How to view sexual desire differences

sexual desire difference

Are you the high desire or the low desire spouse when it comes to sex?

Have desire differences created problems in your marriage?

Sooner or later, most couples experience problems in this area. Desire problems are the most common sexual complaint for couples.

It’s natural to feel bad about having sexual desire problems, especially if you believe that sex is a natural function.

Most people believe that love automatically creates sexual desire in healthy people. At first glance, this makes a lot of sense.

But once you buy into the belief that sexual desire comes “naturally,” you’re in for a load of eventual problems. You’ll feel pressured to create something that just isn’t there. You’ll get defensive and despondent when problems surface in your sex life. You may even begin to feel defective or screwed up. In turn, it’s less likely that you’ll address these sexual desire problems and even less likely you’ll succeed if you do.

When you believe that sex is a natural function, it sucks to be the low desire spouse. You may see yourself as the one with the problem … plus it’s likely that your spouse (the high desire spouse) sees you that way too.

The other big problem with approaching sexual desire as a natural biological function is it actually helps create low sexual desire because it makes sexual desire impersonal. It’s hard to desire sex when it feels like your spouse just wants to relieve their physical needs.[Continue Reading...]