little annoyances

Don’t Let Little Annoyances Become Huge Problems

It’s obvious there are some marriage issues that are so big they cannot be ignored. Left unresolved, these large and painful issues can...
helping

When Helping Isn’t Helping You OR Your Spouse

The scene is a couple driving in the car on the way to dinner:Silence for several minutes.“What’s wrong?”“Nothing.”A few more minutes of...
imperfect

How to Unconditionally Love An Imperfect Spouse

Chet was being a jerk at a family gathering and a relative called him out on it. On the way home, he...
tie-breaker

Husbands Don’t Need To Be The “Tie-Breaker”

When we give husbands "tie-breaker" power, do we end up damaging intimacy? Often the best conversations on this blog don’t happen in the...
hurt your spouse

What To Do When You’ve Hurt Your Spouse

Have you ever hurt your spouse in some way? All right, so it’s a trick question. Of course you have hurt your...
thinking

Are You Thinking About What You’re Thinking?

If we want a healthy marriage, if we want a marriage that is marked by cherishing, we have to think about what we...
disguise

Take Off The Disguise When You’re With Your Spouse

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who...
morning person

My Spouse Is (Or Isn’t) a Morning Person. Help Me!

Before I set the bar of my marriage at cherishing my wife, I thought I had run into an unsolvable conundrum. It had to do...
healing

Healing From Your Past Is Hard. It’s Also Worth It.

Tina and I met together for counseling several years ago to work through some traumatic experiences from her past. A year after...
fresh start

It’s Never Too Late For a Fresh Start.

A story is told about a factory burning down that was owned and managed by the great inventor Thomas Edison, and the...
mental load

Husbands, Help Carry Your Wife’s Mental Load.

It’s the last day of our emotional labor and mental load series! We wrapped up the big teaching points yesterday talking about how...
imperfect

All Marriages Are Imperfect. And All Can Improve.

“You know, your prayers are pretty shallow. Why don’t you pray a real prayer?” The young man was reeling—was she really going to leave him...
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...
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...
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),...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
communication in marriage

Actually, Communication in Marriage Isn’t What’s Most Important. What Is Might Surprise You.

What you have probably heard is the number one problem is communication in marriage. I don’t believe that’s the case. It’s a problem,...
it's not about the nail

It’s Not About the Nail? Actually, Sometimes It IS About the Nail

It's Not About the Nail was a popular marriage video that made the rounds (we've done a post on it!. This post is...
arguing

How to Ask For What You Need Without Arguing

Sometimes you just have to ask your husband for what you need! I’ve been talking all month about how to change the dynamic...
angry

Angry? The Right Question To Ask Isn’t “What?” But “Why?”

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. –Psalm 4:4 Recently, I had...
to do list

What to Do When You Are Last on Your Spouse’s To Do List?

Today's post from the always-helpful America's Family Coaches is a great conversation starter between you and your spouse. The desire to feel...