The Secret To Good Communication

95% of the couples that come to my office for counseling admit they need at least some degree of help in the area of communication. I wouldn’t disagree with any of them! But, I would disagree with most couples understanding of what needs to change with their communication.

Most couples think they need help with the principles of communication. Typically this would involve help in understanding, expression, and listening well. Although I agree there is room for teaching on these subjects, I would argue there is a deeper, more significant problem that is sabotaging communication between a husband and wife.

Is this standing in the way of your dream marriage?

Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

Maybe you already know what it is. You know: that one thing. It’s one thing that, like an arm in a cast, its layered hardness immobilizing you from totally embracing your spouse.

Maybe you’re like me; I didn’t even realize it was there. But still, it was a silent, mildly bitter seed I’d unwittingly nurtured when it niggled at me. Sometimes it was watered by a bad day that couldn’t keep pace with my vision of what life could be like if only.

How to Respect a Husband Who Isn’t Respectable

RESPECT – Valuing and regarding another highly. Treating someone as important or with honor. Communicating or demonstrating that someone has worth. Synonyms: appreciation, awe, admiration, consideration, deference, dignity, esteem, honor, recognition, regard, reverence, or tribute

Let’s be honest. It’s easy to show your husband respect if his behavior is respectable. But what about when it isn’t?

How you can respect your husband if he isn’t respectable?

25 Questions to Spark Authentic Communication

When was the last time you had meaningful conversation with your spouse?

Not just cliche conversation talking about the weather or the logistics of who’s going to take or pick up the kids from football and dance, but REAL conversation.

You know, the type of conversation that you used to have in the early days of your relationship. Conversation where hours seemed like minutes. Conversation that left you feeling known, heard, and secure. Conversation that led to sparks flying…in a good way!

Let’s face it. These types of conversations “just happened” and were the norm in the early days of your relationship. But as time went on, hours of long free-flowing conversations became shorter and fewer and far between.

Every Marriage Needs CPR

How to identify and revive the vital signs of your marriage

My first job at 16 was a lifeguard at a local waterpark. I thought it would be the perfect summer job. I mean, what could be better than spending my summer days sitting on a lifeguard stand getting paid to look cool and get a killer tan?

Oakley mirrored sunglasses…check.

Red Swim trunks…check.

Whistle to blow at little kids being punks…check

Training to actually know what to do in the event of someone drowning and not having a pulse…what?! Didn’t anticipate that one.

Insert CPR training.

CPR is a lifesaving technique designed to revive vital signs that have ceased to function. If you need to give someone CPR, you know the situation is dire. Something needs to be done quick or the person will die.

I want to suggest that your marriage has some vital signs as well. If any of these vital signs are absent from your marriage, the situation is dire. Something needs to be done quickly or your marriage will die.

Don’t wait for your marriage to “stop breathing” to start checking its vital signs. Regardless of whether your marriage is on its death bed or just needs a tune up, the place to start working is on its vitals:

How to see your spouse with new eyes

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Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

Remember the ’99 Julia Roberts flick, Runaway Bride?

Roberts’ character has a bad reputation for landing at the altar and, well, taking off. (Spoiler alert, here–) Turns out she’s been a chameleon of sorts, being “supportive” to the point of wholly adopting her not-so-future mate’s preferences, hobbies, and lifestyle: She likes her eggs the same way. She dons a large (fake) tattoo. She prepares to climb Everest for one of her (not-gonna-happen) honeymoons.

The fiancés are left clueless and bewildered as she turns from each of them, minutes from matrimony. I adored her! And yet, apparently none understood how little they’d actually sought out her soul, or cherished her uniqueness apart from what she contributed to their own interests.

At one point, the movie finds Richard Gere’s character, a reporter getting the scoop on her follies, tinkering at a piano with his ex-wife.

“Is that what happened?” he asks her. “Did I just…not see you?”

“No,” she responds quietly. “No, you didn’t.”

It’s easy enough, I think. To not really see this person we’re married to.

6 Secrets To Building a Marriage That Lasts

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The following post was written by Glen Solberg. Glen is a marriage counselor in our Little Rock, Arkansas office.

72 years. No way!

I had to re-read the number.

But my eyes were not faulty. The couple my wife and I were reading about had indeed been married 72 years. That’s not something you hear about every day, especially in today’s world.

As I have pondered the story of Bruce and Esther Huffman since then, I have thought about Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4 that speak of “finishing the race”.  The Lord had given me a picture of what it means to finish well in marriage in Bruce and Esther.

I want to finish well, like Bruce and Esther.

I know if you are married and reading this, you may be thinking the same thing. You may even be asking yourself the question I had to ask myself:

“What do I need to do today and tomorrow and next week to be intentional about “finishing well” in my marriage?”

As my wife, Shawn, and I pondered that question, here are some suggestions for ways you can work today to have a “Bruce and Esther” kind of marriage:

How Not To Change Your Spouse

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The following post was written by Scott Credeur.

If you went to Sunday school as a kid, its very likely you learned a catchy song with some not so good hand motions that reveals a significant truth about marriage. What song do you ask?

It goes like this:

Zacchaeus was a wee little man and wee little man was he,

He climbed up in a sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see,

And as the savior passed that way he looked up in the tree,

And he said, “Zaccheus, you come down!”

For I’m coming to your house today.

What does this song have to do with marriage?

22 Phrases To Turn Your Love Around

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One of my favorite authors and speakers, Paul Tripp, is famous for saying, “Change doesn’t take place in big, dramatic moments. Rather, the transforming work of grace operates in 10,000 little moments of life more than it does in a series of two or three life-altering events.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s what that statement looks like as it relates to marriage, “Marriages are built and destroyed in the everyday small moments of life.”