When Conflict Happens: PAUSE and do this FIRST

When conflict happens, the first and most important step to keep in mind is this: put everything on pause–until you are able to talk about it in a healthy manner.

We all know the experience of trying to talk things out in the heat of the moment–it only makes matters worse! You have been there. I have been there. It doesn’t work.

So what then?

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The Single Most Helpful Step To Process Conflict:

Over the weekend my wife and I processed two areas of conflict between us. In both instances they occurred LARGELY because of a failure to hear, understand, and appreciate the other person’s perspective. Let me explain what happened in one example, and show the positive outcome of taking this single most helpful step to process conflict.

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I Need Your Help PLUS the Preface to my ebook

Preface:

For nearly 30 years, I have listened to the stories and struggles of husbands and wives. As a marriage and family counselor, it is a humbling opportunity each time I am invited into the private world of a couple.

In recent years, I have observed two dynamics taking place in marriages with increased frequency:

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When I was angry at my wife I had to recognize three things:

It happened yesterday in the airport. We were on our way home from Miami where we had a great time visiting our son. I was tired and wanting some food – it was 4:45 in the morning. Zerrin had gone off to get something to eat and drink while I watched our bags. When she finally got back, I was impatient and a bit snarly. I know you probably never get that way.

I still do at times…less and less I hope, but it still happens on occasion. When it does, we must come to recognize three things:  (WARNING:  you may not like my first point.)

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When Divorce Becomes an Option…

“Is divorce an option?” I ask couples when they come to see me for marriage counseling.  Unfortunately for too many it is. Then I tell them that having the possibility of divorce in their mind almost assures that it will happen sooner or later. It is the first of several steps that lead to ruin…

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Where Is God? Do You Wonder Sometimes…

Are you now, or have you ever gone through a difficulty in marriage when you wondered where God is?  You have been deeply hurt or betrayed by your spouse.  You are greatly frustrated or confused over a matter.  Maybe life with each other has just become mundane.  You wonder if there will ever be anything more.  Whether you have prayed or not, you have found no answers.  I have a question…

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Why you must pay attention in your marriage to these…

I love going on walks with my wife.  It gets us away from the house and all the distractions.  We get to just BE with each other.  But inevitably it happens at least once every time we walk.  I get a pebble in my shoe.  I don’t know why – maybe I have the wrong size shoe.  Maybe pebbles like me.  But I can’t believe how uncomfortable one step is with just a little pebble in the shoe!  How can something that small take the joy out of a walk with my wife?

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