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Try out Married Life 911 for $1

growingIt is my personal belief that Valentine’s Day is actually a made-up holiday by Hallmark and ProFlowers.

A positive spin I could put on this belief is everyday should be a day you pursue your spouse and tell them you love them. Or I could say this because this is yet another day where you’re “supposed” to get a gift for your spouse.

Regardless your stance on Valentine’s Day, it is fast approaching.

And, whether or not you agree with me that this whole thing is made up, I’m sure you’ll agree that there are many times in married life when there are problems and struggles.

Rough patches and pain in marriage certainly aren’t made-up.

If you are currently in one of these patches, please know this … you are not alone.[Continue Reading…]

Beware of marital drift


If you’ve been married longer than a couple of years, you’ve likely experienced bouts of marital drift.

Times when you both seem disconnected, apart, or simply out of sync. It’s natural that a couple will have ups and downs. Times when things are smooth and connections are deep – and times when they’re exactly the opposite.

So how about now?

Here’s a short quiz that will help you both discover where you are and give you ideas on what to do about it.

In the last month, have you and your spouse:

  1. Kissed passionately without making love?
  2. Gone out on a date without friends or the kids?
  3. Held hands?
  4. Talked at length about something other than the kids, money, schedules, household needs or conflicts?
  5. Done something special for each other?
  6. Prayed together (other than at mealtime)?

In the last six months, have you and your spouse:

  1. Gone for a long walk?
  2. Laughed together until your sides hurt?
  3. Discussed your marital strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Written a love note to each other?
  5. Varied your love-making?

In the last year, have you and your spouse:

  1. Gotten away for at least one night without kids?
  2. Shared a spiritual-growth experience?
  3. Shared hopes and fears concerning your marriage and family over the next five years? Ten years?
  4. Verbally renewed your commitment to each other to honor, love, cherish and remain faithful until death?

Your Marital Drift Score:

  • If you answered yes to 12 or more of these, you probably feel emotionally connected and “in love.” Crank it up to 15 and you’ll feel closer still.
  • If you answered yes to between five and eleven of the questions, you may have begun settling for an “average” marriage. Start making changes today.
  • If you answered yes to fewer than five questions, your marriage is in serious drift mode. Both of you need to invest heart and soul into connecting.

To improve your connection, simple start practicing the things on this list.

The rewards are worth your efforts.

Source of quiz: Kyria.com
(photo source)

Create a marriage that clicks

holding-hands1Right now, my married life is the best it’s ever been.

I guess you could say we are clicking, or in the zone.

My wife changed jobs to one that has her working directly with people and seeing the impact of her knowledge as it helps them with their money. I’m creating systems, training and resources to help married people like you improve the your most important relationship.

We’ve worked hard to get to where we are.

Full disclosure, our married life still includes times of frustration, heartache, and tension between us. What makes this different for us is the ebbs and flows of relationship harmony aren’t over-reacted to by either of us near as often.

We’re quicker to recognize the system we’ve created together and we’re both more willing to allow each other the room to be ourselves without taking these moments personally.

The difference in our time together is astounding.

How do you get there? How do you create a system that clicks with your spouse?

We found our way here through many paths. Some seemed to be colossal failures at the time, but I realized it was just another path directing us forward. I’ve shared many of these ideas before throughout on Simple Marriage. I’ve been honored to be invited into the nitty-gritty of life with those I counsel in my office and online.

We discovered this season of married life together by working our way deeply into the lives of others – and each other.

Replay that sentence. Did you catch the subtlety within it when compared to other marriage advice being offered elsewhere?

In case you didn’t … great married life is created when you each create a great life worth living and the marriage is the icing on the cake.

Ask yourself, is that what you’re doing in YOUR world?

And if not, why not?

Schedules?
Time?
Money?
Support?
Fear?

Or is it more likely that you’ve entered into married life without a full realization of the dynamics that are inherent in every marriage and you’ve wound up feeling lost and alone? You feel you lack the tools to turn the jumble of emotions and the thoughts in your head into something you can do to create something better?

My life’s work is helping you create something meaningful in yours.

And the best way I can do this for you is by you joining me in Married Life 911.

The Secret to a Deeper Marriage Relationship

black-zen-stonesMost everyone wants to have a great marriage. And everyone enters in to marriage with the hopes of deep connection.

I’ve yet to encounter someone who entered into marriage with the thought “I can’t wait to be miserable with you in several years.”

Yet, somewhere along the way many marriages experience drift and disconnection. Sort of like roommates doing life together but stuck – due to children, finances, or shared property.

When this happens in your life, it doesn’t mean it is time to pack up and leave. I

t also doesn’t mean there’s anything going wrong.

Hitting rough patches in married life are actually normal in every marriage. And how you approach these times says more about you and your character than the state of the relationship.

It is easy to feel like you’re alone when times like this happen. And the social media world we live in exacerbates this feeling.[Continue Reading…]

Growing Up In Marriage

I-Love-YouI have written many times about my belief that marriage is about growing up.

This is the main idea behind Simple Marriage and the only way to experience more in marriage and life.

So what does growing up in marriage actually mean?

Another expression is becoming more emotionally mature.

For this post, growing up is not the physical aging of our lives, which happens naturally. The growth I’m writing about is emotional, mental, spiritual, and sexual.

Growing up involves balancing two fundamental life forces: the drive for separateness and the drive for togetherness. Separateness propels us to be on our own, to chart our own course in life, and to create our own identity. Togetherness pushes us to be part of a group, to connect with others, and experience things only relationships can provide.

When these two life forces are expressed in balanced, healthy ways, meaningful relationships are created where both members develop into better people.

Giving up your separateness in order to be together is as defeating in the long run as giving up your relationship in order to maintain your separateness.

Either way, you end up being less of a person with less of a relationship. ~ David Schnarch

Since growing up requires a great deal and can often be confused with other ideas, here’s a few important clarifications:[Continue Reading…]

Don’t Confuse Intention with Action

couch_potatoWith all things in life, it is important to not confuse a desire to change with actual change.

Thinking about decluttering or talking about decluttering won’t result in any positive benefits. These benefits can only be experienced when the excess clutter has been removed.

It’s easy to think that intention is indeed a powerful force.

After all, unless you intend to lose weight, get fit, eat healthily, run a marathon, improve your marriage – then it’s unlikely to happen.

Nobody accidentally finds themselves signed up to a gym and on a treadmill or enrolled in an online marriage help course.

Intention is required to make changes because they are highly unlikely to happen organically. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the intent is all that important, it only starts the process moving.

Intention really isn’t all that powerful.

In fact, there is plenty of proof to suggest that intention plays a very small role in making beneficial change.

Think about it for a moment.[Continue Reading…]