Archive for ‘tips and advice’
Are you a detail person while your beloved sees the big picture – or vice-versa? These differences can complement each other for good, but if too extreme they can cause friction. Make a commitment to develop your shadow side.
You think you’re right. Your spouse thinks the opposite. Neither of you wins by making the other wrong. Try giving the benefit of the doubt to your beloved. Try it their way – at least once.
(Reader’s Tip) When you get frustrated, pray for understanding.
Often the simple act of rebooting can remedy a computer problem. Sometimes marriages need a reboot. If a problem is not resolving readily, try this: Stop. Let both of you cool off. Forgive. Ask for a “do over.”
(Pentecost) “How does each of us hear them in our native language?” (Acts 2:1-11) Do you understand your spouse’s love language? Check out Gary Chapman’s bestseller, The 5 Love Languages.
One of the challenges to married couples is to know how to be life-giving. Natural Family Planning helps couples develop an attitude of welcoming children. NFP can also be used to space or limit family size, but an open heart goes a long way.
(Reader’s Tip) When he has long workdays I surprise him and drop off special treats at his office. It always re-energizes him, physically and mentally.
Is your lovemaking out of balance? This is a touchy topic but if your spouse is almost always the one who initiates physical intimacy, he or she may not be really satisfied – even if you say “Yes.” The real desire is to be desired. Take the first step.
A marriage rule you can break: “Never go to bed angry.” Although generally this is a fine rule, there are times when all this accomplishes is a tired body. Sleeping on it can provide a cooling off period and help you get fresh perspective.
When you and your beloved are at loggerheads it’s hard to remember that your beloved is your beloved – not your enemy. He or she isn’t trying to be difficult; just trying to say that something is very important to him/her. Listen to the need.
(Reader’s Tip) When you wake up in the morning think of something you can do that would make your beloved’s day better. It can be big and special or small and helpful.
(Mother’s Day) “When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.” (John 16.21) What a difference a day makes.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Great! Treat your own mother if she is still alive. For husbands: Help your children decide how to honor their mother, but don’t do it for them. Your wife is your best friend, not your mother.
(Reader’s Tip) Pray together daily, listen to each other and wait to respond until the other is finished speaking.
Christ ascended into heaven of his own power; the rest of us need a little help from our friends. What lifts your beloved up – a sunny day? a warm bath? a massage? an offer to do one of his/her chores? Jump up and lift up your beloved today.
Your spouse is not your competitor. Too often couples keep score on who cleaned more, took care of the kids last, or has the hardest job. You’re both on the same team. If somebody wins an argument, that means the other lost. The marriage loses.
Sometimes couples get lucky and their personalities and families of origin mesh seamlessly. That’s rare. The blessing of having difficulties is that it forces the virtues of conflict resolution skills and dying to self. It can hurt but it’s a spiritual purification.
(Reader’s Tip) Love the whole person, especially their weaknesses.
: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid…I am going away and I will come back to you.” (John 14: 27-29) Separations like business trips or military deployments can strain a marriage. Plan a daily way to reconnect even if it is simply to pick a common time to pray for each other.
Sometime we stress ourselves (and therefore our spouse and children) by worrying about things that don’t really matter in the long run, such as compulsive neatness, wealth, or fame. Are you guilty of giving undue attention to things that will pass?
A good argument can be a labor of love. Have something sensitive or difficult to talk about with your spouse? Try holding hands and maintaining direct eye contact when you are having a discussion about a disagreement.
What’s the most dangerous part of your body? In marriage, it’s your tongue. It can discourage, wound, embarrass, and humiliate your beloved. You may try to conceal this weapon but it’ll sneak out in snarky remarks if you don’t tame it. Say enough but know when to stop.
Store clerks are taught to say “Have a nice day” to each customer. The marriage version is “How was your day?” Such a simple question but it says “I care about you and how you spend the time when we’re apart.” Listen carefully to the answer.
(Reader’s Tip): Only do those things that will be good for the other. This has given us a better outlook. We think more before we do something.
Strong marriages and troubled marriage both have problems, but the healthy married couple is committed to working through them and finding help when faced with problems they can’t solve alone. Seeking counsel is a sign of strength.