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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I wanted to SCREAM when I saw this…

It was in my inbox with the subject line reading “Life is short–have a discreet affair!” I wanted to scream! I wanted to shout: “Life IS short–so do it right!” In all my 30 years of marriage counseling I have never ONCE heard anyone in my office say they were glad they had an affair–but I have heard MANY speak of how sorely they regret it. What can you do to guard against this temptation?

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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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It’s Not Over Yet! Four Things to Remember:

I had been working with a couple through a great number of difficulties. Both were very committed to the process and working hard. He was fighting his own battles both past and present; she was fighting hers. At one point she was particularly distressed, struggling to keep moving forward. It was then a thought came to mind to share with them:

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Are YOU Standing For Your Marriage?

Heroes – that is what I think of them.  Men and women who have stood for their marriage when everyone thought they were crazy. I don’t even know how they did it except by the grace of God. I think of two men who stood for their marriage and yet their wives left them.  I think of several women who stood for the same, and God brought reconciliation. I think of another marriage where one spouse has stood for years, even though separated. Things went from worse to worser and worsest. (Excuse the vernacular!) And finally they have taken a turn for the better. It reminded me of the following declaration I once read. I would like to dedicate this to the heroes past and present who are standing for their marriage!

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For Women Only: Become Your Husband’s Greatest Source of Encouragement by Keeping Four Things In Mind

Often when sitting with couples in my office I find myself thinking “they just don’t understand each other.”  He doesn’t get what she longs for most; she doesn’t know how to come alongside to encourage him.  Here are four ideas for a wife to keep in mind about her husband:

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