Working Through Complex Issues in Unity

Every couple has complex issue to work through at various times in their lives together. Below are some important relationship principles to help you achieve success: 1. Each in the couple relationship freely expresses thoughts and point of view. Be sure to avoid blame or criticism, or shooting down the other person's ideas or feelings. Show respect. 2. Seek to feel constant love for your spouse while dealing with the complex issue. Take breaks if you need to. If feelings of love and … [Read more...]

Reach for Each Other

At this moment I sit next to my four-year-old son as he sleeps in his hospital bed. He is an incredible boy. A boy of strength, love, and character. He has endured eleven surgeries in the short 4 years of his life. Sitting with him through these painful, fear-invoking, and difficult trials in his life has had a tremendous impact on me. He didn’t ask for this. He doesn’t deserve it. But, he does ask for and deserve my hand as he reaches for it so I will hold him through his pain and never let … [Read more...]

Managing Life’s Roadblocks

There are times in our life plans when we feel like we have hit a brick wall. These types of barriers can be any obstacle, real or perceived, that prevents us from achieving a desired objective. This can occur in our personal life or in any type of relationship whether with a spouse, a family member, friend, or co-worker. We struggle to understand why the other person [whom we perceive to be the obstacle] cannot change to meet our [rational or irrational] needs. When we do approach roadblocks, … [Read more...]

The 2-Ply Marriage

Over the years we have all heard advertisements on the radio, TV and through other forms of media about one brand of paper towel or toilet paper being stronger than another. The stronger brands advertise that their product is 2-ply. I think we can all agree that 2-ply toilet paper or paper towels make cleaning up more efficient. Another definition of the word ply is “to work hard at something, to work hard at a trade or occupation, [or marriage] especially with diligence.” A 2-ply marriage … [Read more...]

Is personal stress putting pressure on your marriage?

Do you feel stressed? Have work or other commitments taken their toll? Do you wish you could have more hours in the day to complete the many tasks you are struggling to juggle? You are not alone. As I provide counseling to couples, one of the things I always assess is the level of stress that each person is experiencing. We give assessments that show elevated levels of stress are present for most who come for counseling. This is understandable because the issues that couples present in … [Read more...]

Managing In-Law Conflicts

When we marry, we may believe that we married just our best friend. Yet we soon find that we also married his/her family. Sometimes extended family connections are kept light and distant; others are deep and enmeshed. The issue of how to manage these family connections sometimes brings a spirit of divisiveness into an otherwise cordial marriage. Sociologist and researcher John Gottman describes the conflict this way: “Such conflicts usually surface quite early in a marriage…. [but] can be … [Read more...]

Protecting Your Relationship from the Elements

The longer we leave something in disrepair the more costly it will be to fix it. For instance If we fail to protect wood, that is exposed to the elements, with paint or some other type of sealant, the elements will eventually destroy the wood and it will need to be replaced. Everyday I meet with couples in my office who have put off or have stopped doing the things that will protect and strengthen their relationship. Instead, they get sucked in to pursuing other endeavors that seem more … [Read more...]

Say YES to Saying NO! : A Guide to Overcoming People Pleasing

Self Test: YES NO Will you do whatever is asked of you to keep everyone around you happy? YES NO Is it everyone else more important than yourself? YES NO Is it saying “no” hard for you? YES NO Is it to be needed almost an addiction for you? YES NO When you are needed it make you feel important? Even when you know that somebody might be taking advantage of you? YES NO Is it making positive contributions to someone else’s life is highly fulfilling for … [Read more...]

Control vs. No Control

Everyday we have situations, circumstances, people, and events calling for our attention. Some are exciting, some are scary, some are confusing, some are frustrating. The list of possible reactions to the innumerable circumstances are endless. So how do we decide what to focus our efforts on, and what to let go? First, it is important to realize that there are some things that we have control over, and some that we do not. You can most likely control what you eat for breakfast, where you … [Read more...]

Helping Children on an Emotional Rollercoaster

When a child is experiencing intense emotions it can be frustrating and can take a lot of time to get them off. Here are some tips to help you get through these difficult moments  Stay off the emotion rollercoaster yourself. If you allow yourself to get on you will only make the ride last longer. Children need the adult to stay calm and grounded in order to help the child get off.  Create a safe place for all people in the home. When a child is experiencing intense emotions you may need … [Read more...]

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