How Marriage Mentors Can Strengthen Your Relationship

By | Communication | 12 Comments

Do you and your spouse have mentors for your marriage? Forging a friendship with a couple who has been married longer than you can be a great way to gain support and insight into married life. It’s important for you and your spouse to connect with another committed couple that’s passionate about marriage–and about guiding the two of you toward lifelong love. Marriage mentors can help during all of the three seasons in your marriage; we call this the Marriage Mentoring Triad. We look at the triad as three sides of a triangle that make up three major seasons every…

Read More

Stuck in a Rut? 3 Ways to Revive the Excitement in Your Marriage

By | Communication, Time | One Comment

From time to time, every married couple gets stuck in a rut. It can happen for many different reasons, but the results are similar: ruts leave us feeling like life has just become “blah.” Fortunately, this is totally normal–and you two can work together to break out of your rut if you’re willing to put in the effort. Today, we’ve put together 3 ways to revive the excitement in your marriage. It’s important that you and your spouse work together to shake things up. Even though you might feel like you’re in a rut, your spouse might not; the important…

Read More

How to Intentionally Pursue Joy with Your Spouse

By | Communication | 8 Comments

Keeping your marriage infused with joy is one of the greatest challenges–but can also be one of the biggest adventures–in your life as a couple. After the honeymoon, life can get bogged down by day-to-day drudgery and less-than-ideal circumstances that are beyond your control. And while it’s a little too easy to let these things drown your happiness, it’s important for the two of you to stay focused on finding the joy that keeps you moving forward, no matter what. Today, we’re sharing some tips on how to intentionally pursue joy together, so that when the going gets tough, the…

Read More

Help! My Spouse Wants Me to Make More Money

By | Careers, Communication, Conflict | 9 Comments

You’ve weighed your career decisions, filtered your values and what’s most important to you, and decided on a job that will help you not only bring in a good income, but also balance those values and pursuits in the best possible way for your family–or so you thought. Suddenly, you’re getting outside pressure from your spouse to up your game…and you’re not sure where it’s coming from. Money is a hot-button issue in most marriages, but the it tends to really hit a nerve where individual income is concerned. Whether one or both spouses is working, it’s not uncommon for…

Read More

7 Ways to Seek Peace First in Your Marriage

By | Communication | 2 Comments

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18 (NIV) Being a peacemaker isn’t easy. It’s not the passive existence of “keeping the peace,” or keeping your mouth shut to avoid confrontation. Instead, it’s an intentional, active state of existence that requires you to make careful–and sometimes difficult–decisions regarding the state of your relationship. Seeking and creating peace requires courage and fortitude. Resolving conflict is marriage is difficult; because it can be so tricky to navigate, many couples find that unresolved issues and hurts begin to accumulate over time. In…

Read More

5 Ways Empathy Can Neutralize Conflict with Your Spouse

By | Communication | 4 Comments

Empathy is defined as the identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings, and motives. It’s a critical component to success in all types of relationships, but it’s particularly valuable in marriage, a place where peace and harmony are paramount to success. Practicing empathy can effectively neutralize conflict and restore peace to your marriage. Here are 5 ways being empathic toward your spouse can benefit you both and nurture lifelong love. 1. Empathy opens your eyes to another point of view. When you empathize with a person, you put yourself in their shoes. You’re able to view things from their…

Read More

For Better or For Worse: Dealing With Tough Times in Marriage

By | Communication, Conflict | 24 Comments

“More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.” – Anonymous If you and your spouse know how to navigate the tough times in your marriage, you’ll come out on the other side closer than ever before. Hard times and conflict are inevitable–they’re just a part of life. When you overcome those times together, that can really deepen your sense of partnership. Whether you’re dealing with internal conflicts (disagreement or stalemate, infidelity, health crises, mental illness, etc.) or external conflicts (loss, tragedy, job stress or loss, family or in-law issues, etc.), you’re going…

Read More

10 Reasons to be Happy With Yourself Before You Marry

By | Self Reflection | 5 Comments

“Love can come when you’re already who you are, when you’re filled with you. Not when you look to someone else to fill the empty space.” – Deb Caletti It’s exciting to dream of the future, especially when you’re dreaming of finding the right person, dating, falling in love, getting married, and living happily ever after. But we often find ourselves wanting to rush the process and get straight to the marriage part. And even though marriage is amazing, it is best experienced when two well-rounded individuals–who know themselves well and are happy with who they are–choose to share their…

Read More

It’s Not Me, It’s You: Why Criticism Poisons Happy Marriages

By | Communication, Conflict | 20 Comments

“People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.” – Gary Chapman Criticism is an insidious behavior that comes into our marriage and eats at the core of our identity. Few things will shut down intimacy quite like being criticized or controlled, and it is capable of immobilizing your emotional health and personal growth, especially within your relationship. Nobody enjoys being criticized or picked apart, but it’s especially painful when your spouse–your soul mate–is the one being critical and hurtful to you. It’s demoralizing to be treated this way when…

Read More

3 Reasons Radical Forgiveness is a Must in Marriage

By | Communication, Conflict | 7 Comments

It has been said that marriage is the combination of two very good forgivers. We have found this to be true in our own marriage–many times over! And we’ve observed countless successful relationships that were made up of good forgivers, as well. When you’re in such a close relationship with another human being, it’s inevitable that you’re going to step on each other’s toes. That’s just part of life. The trick is being able to offer forgiveness to one another in a genuine, meaningful way, so that when those times come, you’ll be ready to face them head-on. But What…

Read More