Cultivating a Happy Marriage: What’s the Secret?

By | Communication | 15 Comments

What do you picture when you imagine a happy marriage? Some people think of financial security, a nice house, physical beauty, good health, high-profile careers, a thriving social life, or societal status. Others picture a quiet life, surrounded by comfort, children, and extended family. In reality, a couple’s wellbeing has little to do with material wealth or external circumstances. While these things can lend themselves to a happy life, the real key to happiness in marriage is adopting and maintaining a good attitude together. Because life can turn on a dime, we can’t rely on externals to keep us happy….

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7 Secrets to a Healthy Dating Relationship

By | Communication, Self Reflection | One Comment

Dating can be a thrilling, romantic whirlwind. It’s also a complex developing relationship that requires careful consideration and attention to detail as you get to know one another over time. Ultimately, dating leads to one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life–the decision to marry–so it’s important to cultivate a healthy relationship with your dating partner from the very beginning. By following principles of what we call “smart love” and taking your time, you can build a healthy relationship with your dating partner. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide of 7 tips to help you start on…

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3 Keys to Finding the Love of Your Life

By | Self Reflection | 4 Comments

Love is overpowering and intense–a seemingly mystical mix of emotions and physical sensations that authors and poets have compared to madness. If you’ve ever been in love, you know the feelings: lightheadedness, shortness of breath, excitement, and elation. The problem is that love seems to cause people to really lose their minds. The phrase “love is blind” is true; the all-consuming sensory experience of falling in love tends to block our critical thinking. It can become almost impossible to objectively look at ourselves–and the person we’re dating–from the outside in. Simply put, feelings of love can’t tell us anything about…

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5 Fun Spring Date Ideas to Enjoy with Your Sweetheart

By | Communication, Time | No Comments

Our side of the world is finally beginning to thaw from the wintertime freeze. That means it’s a great time to make the most of the fresh, new season. We love the warm weather and sunshine–and we know you do, too–so we’ve compiled a list of some fun springtime dates for you to enjoy together. From backyard picnics to national parks, bike rides to folk art festivals, there are plenty of dates you can go on with your sweetheart this spring. Each of these ideas can help you get to know one another better and build a stronger, more connected…

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Building a Shared Vision in Your Marriage: 3 Questions to Answer

By | Communication, Self Reflection, Time | 4 Comments

Do you and your spouse set aside time once a year to plan for the next 12 months? Making time together for planning, intention, and strategic thought as you move into the future together will bind you closer together and give you shared goals to work toward as a couple. We’ve found that there’s great value in pausing to talk about the direction you’re headed going forward. The New Year’s celebration might be behind us already, but you don’t have to wait until next January to build a shared vision with your spouse. It’s never too late to dream and…

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5 Ways to Cope with a Passive-Aggressive Spouse

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 19 Comments

Passive aggression is a common behavior pattern that arises in all kinds of relationships. It’s always harmful, but in marriages, it’s especially painful. Passive-aggressive behavior can be a simple as a dishonest, “I’m fine,” followed by a period of pouting and unpleasant behavior (slamming cabinets and drawers, angrily manhandling items around the house, giving you the silent treatment, etc.). Or it can go as deep as deliberate sabotage between spouses. Luckily, these harmful patterns can be overcome with observation, self-examination, and the willingness to get help. And if you think your spouse might be passive-aggressive, there are ways to cope…

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Dealing With Resentment in Your Marriage

By | Communication, Conflict | 13 Comments

One of the most difficult issues to face in your marriage is the realization that one of you resents the other. This can be a devastating revelation, but it doesn’t mean you can’t overcome these intimacy-killing emotions. Resentment tends to arise in marriage when one spouse is either knowingly or unknowingly taking advantage of the other–or taking the other for granted. Habitual poor behaviors or unhealthy patterns feed resentment. Some common issues that cause resentment between spouses include: Habitual selfish behaviors Being “married” to a job Favoring one of your children over the other(s) Spending too much time with one…

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4 Things to Do When Your Spouse Self-Sabotages

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 8 Comments

Whether your spouse is pursuing a career promotion, a job change, or a personal goal, it’s incredibly painful to watch them set themselves up for failure. We want to help, so we throw ourselves into offering advice and assistance…only to realize we can’t change the situation. While we all self-sabotage at one time or another, some individuals seem to be caught in a pattern. If this sounds like your spouse, you’re not alone. Self-sabotage is easiest to identify when your expectations (or in this case, your spouse’s) don’t align with your efforts—or the outcome. At the core, self-sabotage is rooted…

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Help! My Spouse is a Flirt! What Can I Do?

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 5 Comments

When you and your spouse first met, you were captivated by their charming personality. Maybe he made you feel like a princess, or maybe she made you feel like you were the only man in the world. It felt great to receive so much focused attention from someone who quickly became so special to you–and such a big part of your life. Now, you’re married and building a life together, but lately you’ve noticed that your spouse has begun to pay that same kind of flirtatious attention–the kind you thought was reserved only for you–to members of the opposite sex….

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Two Ways to Fire Up Passion in the Bedroom

By | Communication, Scripture, Self Reflection, Time | 12 Comments

There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. I Corinthians 6:16 The loss of passionate romance is a common complaint in marriage. It seems that once the confetti and rice are swept away and the last of the wedding cake is put in the freezer, so is the couple’s passion. But marriage in no way requires passion to be put on ice. Love grows less exciting with time for the same reasons that the second run on a fast toboggan slide is less exciting than the first. But as any…

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