Good Relationships Are Not Accidents

trust

GOOD RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT ACCIDENTS

Kyle Benson

After studying more than 3,000 couples in his Love Lab over the last four decades, Dr. John Gottman has discovered that the most important issue in marriage is trust.

Can I trust you to be there for me when I’m upset?

Can I trust you to choose me over your friends?

Can I trust you to respect me?

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5 secrets about sex your wife doesn’t know how to tell you

5 SECRETS ABOUT SEX YOUR WIFE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO TELL YOU

Trina Boice

Men and women think differently about sex. Here are five sex secrets your wife may not tell you.

Sex secret #1 – Help without being asked

Husbands, you need to understand something: getting in the mood starts outside the bedroom. It can often begin at the kitchen sink when you say you’re going to do the dishes tonight. It can occur when you remember to take out the garbage before she has to nag you to do it. Nothing is more sexy to an exhausted new mother than watching her thoughtful husband change the diapers. It’s one of the least known mysteries about women.

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8 Profound Lessons Intimate Relationships Teach Us

Intimate Relationships

8 PROFOUND LESSONS INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS TEACH US

Kyle Benson

Our intimate relationships teach us more than about the hearts of the ones we love. They teach us about ourselves. There is no greater people growing machine than that of love.

Our culture often views love as some fuzzy thing that gets passed around and makes you feel warm inside. But as all of us know, this happens only part of the time. The other part is full of anxiety, confusion, and frustration.

Having problems in our relationships are inevitable. Even our soulmates cause issues sometimes. According to John Gottman, couples disagree on unsolvable never-ending issues 69% of the time.

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15 insanely nice things to say

15 INSANELY NICE THINGS TO SAY

Megan Gladwell

Lifting another’s spirits with a genuine compliment makes you feel pretty great, too. You never know how your kind words will affect those around you.

Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

A knee-melting compliment, delivered directly and sincerely, can be life altering. We never know how profoundly our kind words affect the recipient – from a store clerk to our own kids.

In the spirit of Mark Twain, here are 15 really nice gems to throw someone’s way.

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The Story of Us: The Difference Between Happy and Unhappy Couples

THE STORY OF US: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAPPY AND UNHAPPY COUPLES

Kyle Benson

Every relationship is bound in the pages of stories. There’s the chapter when you sat alone in a romantic restaurant because John was late for date night. Or the countless nights your wife puts on her “no sex” sweatpants to tell you she’s off limits.

Our lives and our relationships are constantly narrated by the storyteller of our minds. This narrator is either going to write a miserable love memoir, or the best damn romantic novel in existence (despite the dark times).

All relationships, happy and miserable, experience regrettable incidents. According to John Gottman, 90%1 of the time couples misunderstand one another, leaving the plot of love ripe for a dark tale. I’m not talking about the 50 Shades of Grey dark tale; I’m talking about the story that no one wants to read.

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A letter to my husband: I wish I were the wife you needed

A LETTER TO MY HUSBAND: I WISH I WERE THE WIFE YOU NEEDED

Sarah Jean

Marriage can be wonderful and awfully messy.

Dear husband,

It wasn’t until we got married that I realized how selfish I am. How unloving I tend to be. My thoughts are not always for you. Although it sounds beautiful to be called your wife, I feel I am not deserving of the title.

A wife is to be patient

I tend to talk all over you instead of waiting for a response. I tend to push you along so that I can get to where I want to be. I can’t stand the silence of you thinking because I can’t wait long enough for you to speak. I have agendas for each day and get upset when things don’t go my way, when things aren’t done.

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How You Think About Your Spouse Determines How You Love Them

thoughts

HOW YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE DETERMINES HOW YOU LOVE THEM

Kyle Benson

All of us have an inner narrator that describes the scene and characters of our lives. If your inner narrator writes a script of your partner and marriage in a negative tone, it’s easy to make assumptions that create negative interactions.

I want you to meet Courtney and Nate, a couple who has been married for 11 years.

On this particular day, Courtney comes home grumpy from work and sees dirty dishes on the kitchen counter. She starts yelling at Nate about the house being filthy. Nate immediately feels attacked. He thinks, “Wow, she is really grumpy right now. This is not fun. I hope she calms down soon. I wonder what happened at work today that’s making her so upset?” We will call this side of Nate, Benefit of the Doubt Nate.

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The cost of unexpressed needs in finding love

THE COST OF UNEXPRESSED NEEDS IN FINDING LOVE

Kyle Benson

If you have an anxious attachment style, you may have experiences that make you feel like a burden in close relationships, so you hide your needs. Unfortunately, this positive intention backfires.  You end up feeling resentful for always giving and never getting. Then you get angry and start fights. Even over the little things.

One of the best ways to improve your relationships is to recognize and honor your relationship needs.

Now, this doesn’t mean calling your partner 20 times in an hour. This means understanding that if your partner is unwilling to meet your needs for intimacy, emotional availability, and security, then you’re going to be unhappy.

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Is Defensive Listening Hurting Your Marriage?

IS DEFENSIVE LISTENING HURTING YOUR MARRIAGE?

Crystal Bradshaw

Most people engage in defensive listening several times a day. Being defensive is normal, it’s universal, it’s natural, and it’s an innate.

We all do it.

Its existence serves to protect us. Since being defensive is a natural response, it’s sometimes hard to recognize when it’s occurring. It even occurs in normal, non-emotionally charged, conversations.

If you can learn to recognize it in yourself, and in your partner, you can choose to respond differently and help keep the conversation from spiraling into an unnecessary fight.

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Conflict is Growth Trying to Happen

CONFLICT IS GROWTH TRYING TO HAPPEN

Crystal Bradshaw

Conflict makes appearances in all relationships, successful, happy ones included. The key isn’t to avoid conflict, as many couples mistakenly try to do, it’s to navigate conflict successfully and repair as needed.

In order to do this, you only need one big shift in your current conflict strategy: Focus on the underlying emotion of the conflict.

Emotions are the result of:

what happens
AND
the story we tell ourselves about what happens.

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