Relationships

Priscilla and I work with couples across the country to promote healthy lifetime love. Click here for our guest spot on Dr. Beth Erickson’s radio show “Relationships 101” on WebTalkRadio.net.

Here are some articles we’ve written. Click a title that interests you or click the link at the end of the teaser, and you can read the entire article on-line.

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Couple Conflict: Attitude is Everything!

Listen to Kathy talk about the difficulty she and her husband Ken have dealing with conflict:attitude-150x150

“Too often, our disagreements end badly. We get frustrated with each other, and our anger overshadows the issue at hand. Our discussions deteriorate into accusations and put-downs. One of us usually walks away mad.  I’d love to know how to get past this so we can actually solve our problems as they come and feel closer to one another when it’s all said and done.”

Can you relate? If so, you and your partner might benefit from an attitude check. Consider these simple steps and see if they don’t help you to get a handle on couple conflict… continue

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Relationship Tip: Show Appreciation in Marriage

Susan loves Mitch. No question about it. But after 20 years of marriage, she shared with me over a cup of coffee that she doesn’t like him. “He’s boring! He doesn’t like to do anything fun and we rarely have interesting conversations. I won’t leave him, but the only fun I have is the fun I can find on my own or with my friends.”

How sad! I knew that their relationship could be so much richer and offer them both so much more joy and satisfaction. Sounded to me like Susan needed an attitude adjustment. She certainly wasn’t going to change Mitch. He’d been boring for 20 years! I knew that trying to change a person was a dead-end street – she’d only  make herself  miserable and dissatisfied in the process.

“Let’s try an experiment” I said… continue

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Communication in Marriage Is More than Words 

My mother-in-law has moved to town. . . one street over. Believe it or not, this is a good thing in many ways. We get along well. We’ve even traveled together. But this is the first time in 34 years of marriage that Greg and I have lived in the same city with his mom. We now have a whole new set of things to communicate about!… continue

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Conflict Is Inevitable – Learn How to Use It to Bring You Closer 

Fourteen married couples, representing a total of 390 years of marriage, were asked what tips for dealing with conflict they would share with a newlywed   couple. The common theme was “every couple has conflict!” It’s not so much about learning how to resolve it or avoid it, it’s about how to use it creatively to actually bring you closer rather than push you further apart.

Here is 390 years worth of relational wisdom: continue

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The Best Marriage Begins with the Word ‘Better’

We’d probably all agree we want a successful marriage – the best marriage possible. How do we get there? By building a better marriage! The word better is a relative term – a better marriage is relative to the marriage you currently have… continue

 

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Bringing Baby Home: Maintaining a Strong, Healthy Marriage

Two Shall Become One. . . and then three. What happens to the couple relationship when a baby is introduced into the mix? Well, for one thing, life gets very exciting! And exhausting. And challenging.

Amid the chaos and the joy and the fear, it is possible to continue to develop a strong, healthy couple relationship. Here are some tips to help new parents cope and thrive: continue

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What Is Romantic? An E-mail Exchange

From: Greg  To: Priscilla Sent: 1/9/2012 7:15:29 PM Subject: Romance

Pris, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner I was thinking about romance and wondering, what does being romantic mean to you?

From: Priscilla To: Greg Sent: 1/9/2012 7:25:04 PM Subject: RE: Romance

Romantic to me is anything that makes me feel loved, feel special. . . continue

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Talking About the Holidays

Here are a few conversation starters for you and your partner… continue

 

 

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Investing in Your Marriage Pays Big Dividends

We’ve all read the headlines:

     Unemployment Rates Continue to Rise

     Foreclosures are Up

     Job Layoffs are Increasing

Inevitably, stress on marriages is also on the rise. Research has shown that financial pressures are the number one cause of divorce in the United States. Add to this reality the downward spiral of today’s economy and many marriages are struggling.

Better Marriages offers these suggestions for making sure your marriage operates in the black during these uncertain times: continue

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A Spiritual Crisis Impacts a Relationship

My husband just had his first book published – Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night: What to Do When God Won’t Answer. He’s done lots of writing through the years and has contributed to numerous books. However, this is his first full-fledged-photo-on-the-cover book. I’m very proud of him!

The book is a spiritual memoir. Which totally makes sense. If Greg’s going to write a memoir, it is going to have a strong spiritual thread running throughout. The book tells of a two-year period in which he was seeking vocational direction – and God seemed to fall completely silent.

Would we continue in the ministry, our vocation and calling for 30+ years, or would we make a clean break and plunge headfirst into the nonprofit we had created eight years previously? Would we take a step of faith into a largely unknown future? (For me, this translated will we give up a perfectly fine salary with benefits in order to pursue a dream that may or may not pan out – much less put food on the table?).

Now, don’t think this didn’t impact things at home!continue

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New Year’s Resolutions: The Power of a Promise

Have you ever stopped to consider how powerful a promise is? With a promise we steal some of the uncertainty from tomorrow. We stake a claim on the unknown future and declare that we will not leave it to chance or whim. With promises, those we make to others and to ourselves, we become leaders of our lives and loves rather than victims of uncertainty.

Here are a few promises you might consider making for 2011: continue

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Tips For a Happier Relationship – Expectations Vs Intentions

What are your expectations about your relationship? Do you expect that your chosen partner is your perfect match and that you’ll both ride off into the sunset, living happily ever after? Instead, do you expect that your relationship will end up just like disaster stories you’ve seen with your own eyes – cruel words ricocheting off of real or imaginary walls, while after 20 years of putting up with one another the couple decides to call it quits? Or, do your expectations fall somewhere between these two extremes, with a sense that though you won’t always get things right, you will find a way to experience a largely satisfying lifetime together?

Don’t underestimate the power of these expectations.

At the same time, don’t overestimate their power, because there’s a force that’s even stronger than expectations: the force of intentions… continue

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Getting Ready for Marriage – Prepare for Lifetime Love

“Why didn’t someone tell me that before I married?!” It’s a common cry in a population where half of all marriages turn out badly.

David R. Mace, co-founder with his wife, Vera, of Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment – now known as Better Marriages – states, “The Boy Scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’. . . . the major area of life for which we are most poorly prepared is, unfortunately, marriage and family living. Preparation for marriage is preparation for the one experience in life on which our happiness most deeply depends.”

Imagine explorers setting off to make a journey through unknown territory with no food, map, or compass (preparation). How likely are they to survive, let alone make it to their hoped-for destination? If there was ever an unknown territory, it is the budding relationship between two unique individuals.

According to Mace and the principles of Better Marriages, the following are the steps to getting your marriage off to a great start: continue

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Valentines Day Tips For Couples

To make Valentine’s Day the best ever, try this:  continue

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Strong, Healthy Marriage – Learn From Other Couples Dealing With the Stresses of the Economy

We can learn from the struggles of other couples. We’re not alone. How are couples maintaining a strong relationship in light of the stresses of the current economic recession? Here are 4 stories from which we can learn – stories of real-life couples. continue

 

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The Wedding’s Over – What Now?

One important key to developing a strong marriage is recognizing, building on and adding to the strengths that already exist in the relationship. A marriage isn’t stagnant – it’s a vital, growing, living thing that requires attention and has great potential for growth.

Here are ten answers to the what now question: continue

 

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Problem Solving For Couples – Attitude is Everything

You and your partner might benefit from an attitude check. Consider these simple steps and see if they don’t help you to get a handle on couple conflict… continue

 

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Happy New Year

To make this the best year ever, try this: as a married partner, determine to do whatever it takes to improve your relationship with your spouse. Research shows that if husbands and wives will channel their energy and creativity towards strengthening their relationship, our families will be healthier, our children will be happier, and we as individuals will increase our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical well-being.

New Year’s Resolutions to consider:  continue

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Communication Skills Can Be Learned

What do we know about couple communication, and how can we do it better? continue

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Conflict in Marriage – What Really Works?

Communication skills and conflict resolution skills go hand in hand – they’re two peas in a pod. Like the song Love and Marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage!

We’ve looked at communication. Now let’s look at conflict resolution… continue

 

 

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Strong, Healthy Marriage – Relationship Tips For Resolving Conflict

Communication, conflict, sex… fourteen married couples, representing a total of 390 years of marriage, were asked what tips for building a strong relationship they would share with a newlywed couple. They shared more than 50 tips – here are their tips related to conflict:  continue

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Survival Guide For Couples – Home For the Holidays

As a couple facing family for the holidays, here are strategies that have worked for us through the years. The longer we’re married, the better they work, the quicker we bring them into play, and the more completely our sanity is restored… continue

 

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Strong, Healthy Marriage – Our Personal Top 10 Relationship Tips

Link to the article

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Strong, Healthy Marriage – Relationship Tips You Can Use

Communication, conflict, sex… fourteen married couples, representing a total of 390 years of marriage, were asked what tips for building a strong relationship they would share with a newlywed couple. They shared more than 50 tips – the tips fell into 7 common categories. Here are the categories with what we believe to be the top tip in each one. Watch for future articles to develop the tips more fully in each category… continue

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Communication Tips – The Wisdom of 390 Years of Marriage Experience

Communication, conflict, sex – fourteen married couples, representing a total of 390 years of marriage, were asked what tips they would share with a newlywed couple about building a strong, healthy, satisfying relationship. Here are their uncensored tips related to the importance of communication:   continue

 

 

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Marriage and Money – Relationship Perspective

Is the economy getting you down? Is it putting a strain on your relationship? Look to rock ‘n roll icons for wisdom about keeping your marriage relationship strong in these trying economic times… continue

 

 

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Rekindling the Romance

Did you know that August was Romance Awareness Month? Did you know that it’s always a good time to be aware of romance! Now is the time to become aware of the romance that’s brewing just below the surface of your relationship. Time to ignite a spark! August was hot, hot, hot… so crank up the heat in your relationship and prepare to sizzle.

Here are a few ideas to kindle the romantic flame:  continue

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What Do We Know about Conflict?

Communication skills and conflict resolution skills go hand in hand – they’re two peas in a pod. Like the song Love and Marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage!

What do we Know about Conflict?… continue

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Discovering Later-Life Love

Although older couples are often skeptical, later-in-life marriages must deal with the same realities any marriage faces. They also have unique characteristics that deserve special attention. Below is a short checklist of things for life-seasoned couples to consider and discuss before saying their wedding vows:   continue

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