Category

Conflict

Help! My Spouse is a Control Freak! What Do I Do?

By | Communication, Conflict | 6 Comments

There are few intimacy killers as potent as controlling behavior. Control is a problem we see on a spectrum, ranging from spouses who are simply nitpicky over one or two parts of their lives to spouses who engage in destructive behavior. Most control issues fall somewhere in the middle and stem from your spouse’s anxiety about one or more parts of your life. When we read between the lines, we often understand that the controlling spouse’s motivation is something like, “I love you so much, I want you to be aware of these few things that aren’t perfect.” If your…

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Opposite Sex Friendships: 3 Scenarios and What to Do

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 30 Comments

It can be a challenge to balance the intimacy of our marriages with the other important friendships in our lives. This is especially true if we have close friends of the opposite gender. While same-sex friendships tend to be easy to nurture after we’re married, there’s an entirely different set of considerations when it comes to having opposite-sex friends. The first question to ask ourselves is, where are we going to invest our energy and focus? Obviously, our marriage is the most precious relationship to protect. Outside of that, we have to decide how we’re going to approach our other…

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Creative Ways to Approach Your Spouse’s Quirks

By | Communication, Conflict | 8 Comments

One of marriage’s greatest gifts is the gift of feedback. Through providing one another with constructive feedback, we can grow into the best version of ourselves. Being married is a lot like looking into a mirror that reflects back the best and worst parts of us. On one hand, we share our life with someone who can support and encourage our strongest qualities. On the other, that same person can make us aware of places where we fall short so we can course-correct when we need to. The trick with feedback is knowing when and how to give it–particularly when…

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Driven to Distraction: What to Do When Your Spouse Doesn’t Listen

By | Communication, Conflict | 12 Comments

One of the most frustrating issues to face in marriage is having a spouse who doesn’t seem to listen to you. And it’s a common problem; many spouses complain that their husband or wife just doesn’t retain important information–even to the point of not remembering it was discussed in the first place. If this sounds like your marriage, don’t worry; there are several mindset shifts and strategies you can use to improve the situation and get yourself heard when it’s most critical. Want to know more? Read on. Remember that your spouse probably isn’t tuning you out on purpose Chances…

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3 Major Relationship Challenges: What to Do

By | Communication, Conflict | 6 Comments

Marriage relationships come in all forms, each with its own set of challenges. No couple gets through life without experiencing a potentially relationship-altering situation or dynamic. Some are temporary; others are long-lived and may last for the rest of your lives. Luckily, there are constructive ways to approach these situations. It might require a little creativity, a lot of strategy, and an overabundance of grace, but you and your spouse can navigate major challenges, overcome them, and continue to cultivate the lifelong love we all desire. Let’s dive into three possible scenarios today. 1. We got married not wanting kids…but…

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4 Ways to Bridge the Gender Gap in Marriage

By | Communication, Conflict | 8 Comments

Before Leslie and I (Les) developed a deep knowledge of the scientifically proven differences between men and women, we butted heads on a regular basis. The disagreements surrounded things like what to pack for vacation, communication styles and timing, and romance. But they could have been avoided if we’d had a deeper understanding of where they were coming from. It’s true that at times, men and women seem to have come from different planets. Luckily, understanding and appreciating the fundamental differences that exist between the sexes simplifies these misunderstandings. Here are four ways you and your spouse can bridge the…

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My Spouse Won’t Come to Church. Help!

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 17 Comments

It’s incredibly painful when your spouse isn’t interested in engaging with you spiritually. This could be a difference you’ve had since early in your relationship, or it could be a new development. Whatever the case, experiencing a spiritual mismatch in your marriage is challenging. There are a number of scenarios that can create a spiritual divide between spouses: You started your marriage with similar beliefs, but your spouse has since decided to leave church The two of you disagree on the finer points of doctrine or theology, and haven’t been able to find a church to attend together…so you attend…

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5 Ways to Cope with a Passive-Aggressive Spouse

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 28 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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