Category

Conflict

Zip Your Lips: How to Protect Your Marriage’s Privacy

By | Communication, Conflict | 13 Comments

It’s a challenge to deal with an “overly-disclosing” spouse. If this sounds familiar, your spouse may mean no harm…yet they regularly manage to tell their friends or family things you’d rather keep private. We (Leslie and I) struggled with this issue early in our marriage. For Leslie, talking about things I didn’t want repeated outside our marriage was just her way of connecting with her friends. She wasn’t trying to be hurtful…yet, it made me feel sad and violated. Luckily, there’s a happy ending to our dilemma. Because Leslie didn’t want to be the reason I clammed up and stopped…

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Tips for Navigating Difficult In-Law Relationships – Part 2

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 9 Comments

Most married couples are uncomfortably familiar with some level of stress when it comes to their in-laws. Maybe you’re dealing with invasion of your privacy, criticism, or jealousy, to name a few issues. The bottom line is, you married one another’s families when you married each other–now, you need to be able to work together to navigate the difficult situations that may arise from time to time. This week, we’re completing our two-part series on challenging in-law relationships. (If you missed part 1, you can catch up here.) Read on to learn a few more ways you and your spouse…

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Tips for Navigating Difficult In-Law Relationships – Part 1

By | Conflict, In-laws & Family | 21 Comments

It’s very common for married couples to experience conflict with their in-laws on one or both sides of the family. Sometimes this can be a minor annoyance; other times, it’s a major source of stress. Whatever your situation, it’s challenging to navigate these complex–and sometimes difficult–relationships. In-law conflict is almost inevitable for every marriage. The good news is, it’s possible to navigate it successfully while continuing to enjoy relationships with both of your families. Let’s dive into some of the things you and your spouse can do to ease the tension between your marriage and your extended families. Present a…

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

By | Communication, Conflict | 7 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 | 31 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 | 13 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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