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

By | Communication, Conflict | 14 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…

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3 Reasons Radical Forgiveness is a Must in Marriage

By | Communication, Conflict | 6 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…

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21 Ways to Love the Person You Married

By | Communication | 15 Comments

“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.” – Tom Mullen It’s easy to fall in love and to marry the person you’ve fallen for; it’s a much bigger endeavor to nurture that love for a lifetime. The good news is, it can definitely be done! We’ve created a list of 21 ways to love the one you married. Put even a few of these into motion, and you’ll see your relationship continue to blossom and thrive over the years together. Let’s jump in! 1. Offer your undivided…

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Gimme My Space: The Importance of Respecting Your Spouse’s Individuality

By | Communication, Self Reflection, Time | 6 Comments

“Don’t smother each other. No one can grow in the shade.” – Leo Buscaglia When you’re in the early years of your relationship–namely, dating and the “honeymoon period” of your marriage–it’s easy to lose yourself in one another. Many couples want to spend every possible moment together, and are even willing to lay aside their individual interests or activities during that time. The differences between you and your spouse tend to be glossed over, too, and those differences don’t feel like a big deal at first. Eventually, you might find that once you’ve settled into marriage, your spouse might not…

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10 Ways to Show Gratitude to Your Spouse

By | Communication | 7 Comments

“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – Les Parrott Showing gratitude to your spouse is an important daily practice; it’s essential to nurturing a healthy marriage. There are many ways to express your thanks to your husband or wife, so today, we’re sharing 10 ideas for showing him or her your appreciation. 1.  Say it out loud…and more often! Intentionally saying thank you to your spouse more often is the simplest, most obvious way to show him or her your gratitude. It can be easy to neglect to…

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3 Reasons to Praise Your Spouse Every Day

By | Communication | 13 Comments

Praise is an essential ingredient to a healthy, happy marriage. Building one another up on a daily basis is a surefire way to build intimacy and keep your love alive for years to come. Couples who praise each other feed the positive energy in their marriages. They’re happier, more secure, and more unified in their relationship. On the other hand, couples who don’t bother to give one another praise are less likely to have a successful relationship. Today we’re going to share 3 reasons why praise is so critical to your marriage. 1. Praise Makes Us Feel Loved It feels…

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Teamwork in Marriage: Essential Ingredients for Success

By | Communication, Time | 7 Comments

The beauty of a strong marriage is in the details. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the most successful marriage relationships have something major in common: in the big adventures as well as the day-to-day grind, the happiest, healthiest couples do life together as a team. We love this quote about how the best marriages have teamwork as their foundation: “The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.” – Fawn Weaver Today we’re going to dig into the three major components of teamwork outlined…

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3 Questions to Ask Before You Have Kids

By | Communication, Self Reflection, Time | 12 Comments

Being married is a wonderful adventure, and it’s so much fun to dream of the future with the person you love most in the world. At some point early in your marriage, you and your spouse will probably tackle the big question of whether you want to have children. A common snag many couples hit during this conversation is the question of when. To help you navigate this monumental life decision, we’ve got a few questions we’d like for you to ask yourselves (and discuss together) before making the leap. 1. What timelines do you have in mind? It’s a…

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Caution! Slow: 3 Ways to Handle Critical Premarital Counseling

By | Communication, Self Reflection | 12 Comments

The engagement period in your relationship is one of the most exciting times in your life–and one of the longest waits you’ll ever experience. You’re anticipating a beautiful wedding, a romantic honeymoon, and seeing all the dreams you’ve created together finally come to life. You feel like you’ve finally found “the one”…until a pastor, family member, friend, or counselor speaks out against your relationship. You’re thrown for a loop! What’s going on? It’s very upsetting to hear someone you respect say that you shouldn’t get married yet. Most likely, your first response was emotional. But if you’re facing this situation…

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Dicey Dealings: How to Handle Invasive In-Laws

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 12 Comments

One of the most difficult situations married couples face is dealing with invasive or controlling in-laws. Maybe they’re critical, nosy, or they monopolize your (or your spouse’s) time. Perhaps they don’t think you can take care of their “baby” as well as they did. Whatever the case, these situations can get dicey in a hurry. In today’s blog post, we’re going to focus on how to deal with invasive in-laws who are making your life as a couple harder than it should be. Have a Heart-to-Heart…With Your Spouse Is your mother-in-law rifling through your things when you’re not home? Has…

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