level of conflict

What Level of Conflict Are Your Marital Fights At?

  Ryan and Megan were in our living room and they couldn’t agree. Ryan’s friends were going to get together over the weekend...
honor

How to Honor Your In-Laws & Keep Good Boundaries

In the early years of marriage, learning to navigate the choppy waters of the extended family can all boil down to honoring your in-laws....
toxic

Toxic People Can Poison a Fruitful Marriage

When I start writing a book, I wear the hat of an explorer. I have a general destination in mind, but I...
stress

How to Fight Off Stress While Stuck Inside

I haven’t left the house for over a week as my wife and I stay at home to stop the spread of...
survival

4 Ways to Navigate Covid-19: A Survival Guide

Life in 2020 is filled with concerns about health, jobs, and the economy. Yet your most worrisome problem right now might not be...
anxiety

Anxiety Doesn’t Always Win: Finding Joy In Stress

Anxiety plagues many of us, stealing our peace of mind, but also inserting itself into our marriages. And that can cause some real...
loop of conflict

Marriages that Last Close the “Loop of Conflict”

Most of us start our marriages in that blissful, love-filled state we had while dating. But all too often that close relationship...
tired

Tired of All the Fighting? Maybe You’re Just Tired!

Because I like you I’ll let you in on a little secret . . . sometimes Rich and I fight.  Sometimes we...
forgiveness

6 Ways Forgiveness Isn’t What You Think It is.

Forgiveness can be costly. A major step in the process of forgiveness is releasing your offending spouse, giving up on revenge and...
newlyweds

The 4 Common Mistakes Newlyweds Make

Just about every day for the last 14 years I’ve given my life to helping pre-married and newlyweds prepare for and start...
reconciliation

Ruthlessly Pursue Reconciliation With Your Spouse

Caveat: This blog post is for those in relatively healthy, perhaps difficult, but not abusive relationships. I was five thousand miles away, in...
household chores

Household Chores Can Make or Break a Marriage

It’s an argument as old as marriage: Who helps out most with household chores? In a recent survey, more than half of...
adventure

Don’t Avoid Conflict, Treat it Like an Adventure.

Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. –1 Peter 3:10-11 (NLT) Personally, I hate conflict....
character trait

A Negative Character Trait CAN Change. Here’s How.

Is it fair to say to your spouse, “This is just the way I am” when it comes to a negative character...
depression

How to Love a Spouse Struggling with Depression

So, as a loving husband or wife, what do you do if you feel like your spouse is being swallowed up by depression?...
negative emotion

Negative Emotion is Vital For a Healthy Relationship

In preparation for my shiny new blog plan (month long themes complete with corresponding love experiments, social media posts and podcast episodes),...
argument

Marriage Fight Club: How to Have a Good Argument

It’s not a matter of if, but when, you and your mate will have an argument. It’s a natural part of any...
in-laws

In-Laws An Issue? Here’s What To Do About It.

The holidays can be a wonderful time of laughter and love and gatherings with family. But it can also be a time...
giving too much

Are You Giving Too Much This Holiday Season?

I’m an expert at killing—plants, that is. No matter what I do, I cannot seem to keep my plants alive. They call...

“O Holy Fight.” Navigating Conflict this Christmas

Every significant relationship will face challenges with communication and conflict resolution. This holds true for couples, families, friends, and co-workers. Married couples...
football

“My Husband Enjoys Football More Than Me!”

Q: My husband seems to enjoy watching football and spending time with his friends more than he enjoys spending time with me....
conflict

Conflict In Your Marriage? That Might Be Good!

“Chris and Melina Hann are a wonderful couple with a brand new book called Head Over Heels…Forever. I think you will enjoy...
love languages

Can Love Languages Be Harmful For Your Marriage?

I like giving and receiving gifts. My wife Lisa doesn’t. In my young stupid pride, I used to double down on gift giving opportunities,...
punishment

Punishment Is Not An Acceptable Relational Tool

Punishment is connected to our instinctive reactions to pain. (In fact, the word “pain” comes from the same root word as “punishment.”)...
jealousy

Jealousy Isn’t Always Unhealthy

You feel jealousy when you experience the unpleasant sensation of a rival. No matter how much your spouse may attempt to reassure...
types of conflict

3 Types of Conflict in Marriage, And The Danger of Confusing Them

There is no one-size-fits-all for dealing with marriage problems, because not all types of conflict are alike. This month, our Wednesday series is...
words hurt

Words Hurt, So Don’t Say Everything You Think.

Words hurt, deeply. Check out this verse from the Bible:  The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the...
overcoming obstacles

3 Keys To Overcoming Obstacles In Your Marriage

The other day I was telling my coworker stories from the early days of my marriage. It was one of those moments...
watch-tone

Watch Your Tone! Say Things In a Way Your Spouse Will Hear

When it comes to communication, even more important than words is the tone that accompanies them. You’ve most likely heard the phrase,...
christian marriage

7 Common Christian Marriage Myths. #3 Might Surprise You!

Q: We have a Christian marriage—so why is it so painful? Shouldn’t being believers shield us from the problems we’re having? A: Many...
why do people cheat

Why Do People Cheat in Relationships, And Whose Fault Is It?

If your spouse has an affair, are you partially to blame? Why do people cheat in relationships anyway?  That’s been something I’ve been...
how to fight

How to Fight Fair: 25 Tips for Better Arguments

Everyone has fights in their marriage, but not everyone knows how to fight. Not all conflict is created equal: some conflict brings...
how to forgive

How to Forgive Your Spouse After An Affair

An affair does not have to be the end of your marriage. Here's how to forgive your spouse after an affair. Q: We’ve...
I'm sorry

“I’m Sorry” Can Make All the Difference In Your Marriage

You know things are “off” between you. That cutting remark still stings. Time passes with a promise unfulfilled for another day. Loyalties are...
conflict

Conflict and Fighting Aren’t the Same Thing. Here’s Why That Matters.

I’ve shared with you in past blog posts that my husband, Mike, and I are very, very different. Early in our marriage,...
tough love

3 Tough Love Truths About Your Marriage

A lay counselor who has worked with hundreds of premarital couples told me that he particularly looks forward to the session when...
broken trust

Broken Trust Can Be Restored … But It Takes Time

Your spouse has blown it. You don’t trust him/her anymore. But you want to save your marriage, despite your broken trust. How...
never surrender

“Never Surrender.” Don’t Give Up, Your Marriage Can Thrive For a Lifetime.

A divorce lawyer recently posted an article arguing that the vow “till death do us part” is passé, unrealistic, and needs to...
how to have self control

About to Lose Your Cool? Here’s How to Have Self Control During an Argument

I hear stories all the time about how couples have lost it in an argument. One of them hears something that triggers their...
grateful

The Key To Being Happy In Your Marriage is Being Grateful For What You...

Nicolas Rolin frolicked, adulterized, gambled, and even murdered his way through the fifteenth century until he looked mortality in the face and...
parents' divorce

Your Parents’ Divorce Doesn’t Mean You’re Doomed to Get Divorced Too.

Q: I want to get married, but my parents had a terrible marriage and got divorced. Does my parents' divorce mean my...
emotional intimacy

Men, Emotional Intimacy Might Not Come As Easy For Us, But It’s Something We...

For Part 4 in this series on marital intimacy, I’m writing again about emotional intimacy. Often when we think of intimacy our...
following Jesus

“I’m Faithfully Following Jesus, So Why Is My Marriage Still Such a Mess?”

I recently met with a friend who shared openly with me about her struggles in marriage. “It’s like living with a robot!...
husbands, love your wives

Husbands, Love Your Wives Like Jesus. Here’s 3 Tips For How to Do That.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her – Ephesians 5:25 We have all read it...
close the loop

Close the Loop: The One Vital Habit That Will Keep Your Marriage Moving Forward

The moment you do or say something that hurts your marriage partner, you stand at a fork in the road. Whether you...
love is a choice

Love Is a Choice, Especially When You’re Not Feeling It.

  When my wife and I were going through marriage problems, the last thing that I wanted to hear was love is a...
how to resolve conflict

Want to Know How to Resolve Conflict With Your Spouse? Turn It Into a...

Now that we’re empty nesters, Lisa travels with me on most of my trips, at least the pleasant ones. Winnipeg in February? Pass. New York...
in-laws

Issues With the In-Laws? Maybe You Need to Create Some Healthy Boundaries. Here’s How.

It’s important to establish healthy boundaries with your in-laws. Otherwise, you can add a lot of stress to your marriage relationship. But...
the stories we tell ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Why Most of Our Fights Start in Our Imagination...

In her recent Netflix special author, researcher, and all-around national treasure Brené Brown describes an argument she  had with her husband. They were...
ultimatums

Ultimatums Are Bad, Right? Actually, They’re VITAL For a Thriving Marriage. Here’s Why.

When things happen in married life, whether bad or good, a common reaction is to blame (or give credit) someone else. While they may have...