5 things men say to an angry woman that make her angrier


Velma Barasa

Don’t say you were never told.

It can take a lot to get a woman angry but when you do get her angry, it’s wise to carefully think about the next words that will be coming out of your mouth.

Since every woman will respond differently to what their man says when they are angry, maybe learning what not to say can help when in such a situation.

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The Price of Peace


Many years ago I listened to a preacher share about how his wife would leave the television on at night and sleep off and they lived in a country where you pay based on how long you keep the TV on. Leaving the TV on therefore increases the television bill.

That attitude of his wife would annoy him and he was always angry at his wife for doing that yet it continued. It was obvious it was going to become a strain in the marriage.

Then one day the Holy Spirit asked him, “Is your marriage not worth fifty dollars extra at the end of the month? If this attitude of your wife will mean an extra bill of fifty dollars is it too much to pay for peace to be in your marriage?”

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Two ways to get your detached spouse more emotionally involved


Darren Wilk

Many of the calls we receive in our office for relationship help come from people who are tired of doing all the work in their marriage, and a decade ago we would have been able to generalize that the person making that call was usually the female in the relationship.  But regardless of which gender makes the call, they have asked their partners over and over again to get into gear and take more responsibility for the relationship. The response some of them get is “Why? There is really not much wrong here, and anyways, we can fix it on our own without help”.  By the way, many people who come into counseling after their partner has left them say “I don’t know what happened. I thought everything was okay”.  Does this sound familiar?

So what do we do with the gender differences today?  Some still apply.  Many men typically don’t seek outside help for their relationships for the same reason that many men won’t ask for directions. We hate not being able to figure something out on our own. Men, by nature, are trained and socialized to be independent and self-sufficient. We would rather learn from doing than from discussing. This does not make it right, and the new millennial’s are certainly changing this trend as the social culture evolves.

Many studies on gender segregation in children have discovered significant differences in how girls and boys play.   Think about this the next time you’re watching children at a playground. The boys are rarely sitting around talking. They’re doing something active.

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3 Steps to Renewing Dialogue in Your Marriage


Jon Beaty

Many couples fall out of sync. Without warning, life events disrupt the rhythm that helped them stay in harmony. Pride, strong emotions, marital and work-related stress, and different communication styles often make it difficult to reconnect.

Meet Ryan and Alyssa, a married couple struggling with connection.

Ryan’s success in his job was such an event. He zeroed in on the opportunity to achieve a shared dream, but as he did so, he and Alyssa drifted apart. Ryan dreaded going home after 11 years of marriage. He and his wife, Alyssa, struggled with how to connect with each other without igniting a conflict. Alyssa felt dissatisfied. Ryan didn’t understand why. They described their dilemma to their marriage counselor.

The Communication Breakdown

Ryan explained that he works long hours—until eight most evenings, and two or three weekends a month. He’s ambitious, driven, and skilled in his work, which has paid off financially. He and Alyssa were able to move their family from an apartment to a new home only five years after they married. They’re putting money away to invest in a vacation condo in Hawaii.

“Alyssa supported me in the beginning. We both dreamed of being where we are now,” Ryan said. “We’ve been working on the next dream. But, now she’s not happy. I don’t get it.”

Alyssa described what it’s like when Ryan arrives home each evening. “Hi, honey,” he says. “Hi,” she replies, and their conversation doesn’t go much further than that. She complained to their counselor, “He doesn’t connect with me or the kids in a meaningful way.”

Alyssa used to ask Ryan how his day went. Not anymore. He just says, “Fine.” If she asks for more detail, he gets angry and says things like, “Why do you ask? You don’t really care.” Then they argue. Ryan admits he used to say more, but from his perspective, Alyssa doesn’t appreciate his hard work. When he brought home the top sales consultant bonus for the second year in a row, Alyssa cried.

Alyssa said what Ryan knew; her tears were tears of frustration, not joy. “You really need to cut back and spend more time with your family,” she’d said. “You work too much. You don’t spend enough time with our boys. I can’t be both their mother and father.” Alyssa felt overwhelmed handling it on her own, especially because their boys were having difficulty in school. Ryan has been colder to her since then. She misses the closeness and fun she used to have with him.

Caught in a Whirlwind

Ryan seemed clueless because he wasn’t paying attention to his wife’s bids for connection. Alyssa tried to tell Ryan what she needed, but she often delivered her appeals to Ryan to change his behavior with criticism. Ryan defended himself, and he didn’t listen to the request for connection that lay beneath Alyssa’s criticism. He didn’t see that she wanted to express her needs and wanted him to understand.

Alyssa and Ryan stepped into a trap of criticism and defensiveness, which derailed their attempts to connect. Criticism and defensiveness are two of what Dr. John Gottman calls The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. When a couple fails to break free of this trap, it may not be long before the other two horsemen—contempt and stonewalling—enter the fight and put their relationship down for the count.

Renewing Dialogue

Highlighting past behaviors only invites more criticism and defensiveness, so their counselor encouraged Ryan and Alyssa to clean the slate and start over. He coached them to take turns expressing their needs and responding to each other. He guided them through the following steps. At the same time, he urged them to keep their focus on the present and to avoid bringing up the past. Most couples can follow these same steps to begin to restore a broken connection.

  1. Tell each other what you want rather than what you don’t want

When spouses can clearly state what they need from their partner without blame or criticism, and especially by using “I” statements, they help their partner see where they can focus their efforts to reconnect successfully.

Alyssa began stating her needs to Ryan. “I need you to be home at least two nights a week to connect more with me and the kids. I feel overwhelmed with the problems our boys are having at school. It would ease my stress if you and I could talk about their problems,” she said. “I need to talk to them together about situations that are coming up. And I want us to do more fun things, too, as a couple and as a family.”

  1. Respond to each other’s statements of need with open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are curiosity’s most powerful tool. These questions typically begin with words like “what,” “why,” or “how,” and are framed to avoid a “yes” or “no” answer. They provide stories for answers, which helps couples to understand each other’s needs more deeply.

To Alyssa’s needs, Ryan responded with an open-ended question. “If I cut my hours and we can’t make that vacation condo happen, how are you going to feel?”

Alyssa said, “I need you more than I need a vacation condo. I want me and the kids to be connected with you more than I want your paycheck or anything we can buy with that.”

Ryan gained a deeper understanding of what Alyssa needs to be happy. Some of her dreams and needs seem to have changed, but he didn’t know that until they had this conversation. He agreed to arrange his hours at work so he can spend more time with Alyssa and the boys. He also agreed to partner with her on helping with the boys’ school problems. And, he promised to plan some dates for just the two of them.

  1. Express appreciation and gratitude to the spouse who’s listening

Words of appreciation and gratitude say, “You matter to me, and I value you.” They express commitment to the relationship, and they cultivate trust that helps bond people together.

Once Ryan responded to Alyssa’s needs and compromised so that they can reconnect and support each other, Alyssa expressed appreciation and gratitude. “You don’t know how happy that makes me hear that,” Alyssa said. “Thank you for listening and understanding.”

A Two-Way Street

For couples to connect, communication needs to flow in both directions. Ryan took his turn expressing his needs in a different way. “I need to hear you say you’re grateful for what I do for our family. You and I both came from families that always struggled to make ends meet. I want you and the kids to have everything you need and more.”

By listening, Alyssa understood that part of what drives Ryan to work so hard is that he wants to provide for his family. “What if I told you I’m grateful every day for what you do? What if I said that at least a few times a week? And what if I said you’ve more than met our material needs? How might that change things for you?”

“That would mean a lot to hear it from you more often,” Ryan said. “You want more of my time. I get that now. That’s what’s been making you unhappy. I thought it was something else, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I understand now. It’s been good for us to listen to each other like this. Thank you. I don’t remember the last time we talked like this.”

When disconnected couples repair their connection, they can enjoy being with each other. Ryan no longer dreads going home. He and Alyssa are learning to communicate better. They now know the secret to getting back into sync; to tell each other what they want instead of what they don’t want, to ask open-ended questions, to form a compromise, and to thank each other for listening.

The Human Heart Was Made to Be Known and Loved


Kyle Benson

What were you made for?

You were made for someone to study you. To read you. To reflect on you. You were made for someone to be attuned to you.

Attunement is the desire and willingness for someone to travel into your inner world to explore who you are and who you are becoming. In a securely attached relationship, this connection cultivates trust that allows your heart to rest.

To truly love another, we must read them well. I’m not talking about the kind of reading where you skim to the parts of a book you think might be interesting, but the kind of reading that engages you in such a way that you are captivated by the story.

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Don’t Talk to Your Sons About Sex – Talk About This Instead

Young pair in love of stylish teenagers ride longboards tenderly holding hands on in the industrial background. Silhouette shot.


Kitty Black

If you’re wondering about the right time to talk to your son about sex, then recent research has some recommendations for you: don’t. Don’t talk to your son about sex. Instead, talk to him about relationships. Talk to him about romance. Talk to him about those funny feelings in the pit of his stomach and how that certain person turns his brain to mush. Talk to him about what a healthy relationship looks like, talk to him about mutual respect, and, oh please, talk to him about consent. Talking to him about sex? It doesn’t appear to be working. So, y’know, don’t.

I said, “Hey, What’s going on?”

The majority of sexual education in schools is based around contraception, pregnancy, and avoiding sexually transmitted diseases. The problem is that these programs aren’t answering the kinds of questions school kids have about sex and relationships. The programs assume girls are the gatekeepers of sex and pitch lessons towards them. They underestimate the emotional capacity and interest of boys and, tellingly, these programs just aren’t working.

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How to Raise a Warrior Girl

Portrait of a young girl on a beach with the warm summer sun setting behind her


Klaudia Khan

I was delighted when I found out that my first baby was to be a girl. And the second. And the third. I would certainly love my son if I was blessed with one, but I knew that I’ve got what it takes to raise a girl.

I’m determined to raise my daughters to be strong, confident, and happy. I want them to grow up to be warriors. Mind you, a princess can be a warrior, too, so I don’t deny them their pretty dresses and cute hair bands, but I want them to know that they can do much more than just look pretty.

Here’s how I try to do it:

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Breadwinning Mothers Carry the Mental Load at Home

Very busy multitasking housewife on white background. Concept of supermom and superwoman


Angela Anagnost Repke

Mothers everywhere are increasingly the breadwinners. This title looks great on paper, but with it our “mental load” gets only heavier. When my son was first born I, too, fit that role. I would wake up, feed my baby, take him to his grandparent’s, teach all day, pick up my son, and then do all of the evening stuff at home. My weekends were filled with grading papers, cleaning, meal-prep, and one squeezed-in activity with family or friends.

Sleeping was difficult. My head would rest on the pillow, but the to-do list piled up like a stack of books, keeping my eyelids open. I never felt caught-up. After reading some recent research, turns out, I wasn’t alone in accumulating this “mental load.”

The research was conducted by Business Wire and proved that when women are the breadwinners, we take on more responsibilities outside of work compared to their husbands. Yes, on top of bringing home more money, they truly did it all: cleaning, cooking, paying bills, and the planning all of the extracurriculars. All of this is known as the “mental load.”

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11 Things You Need To Feel Secure In A Relationship


Do you feel secure in your relationship? If your answer is yes, there’s nothing like it, but if you are struggling to find an answer, you’ve come to the right place. We often fall in love because we are attracted to someone, but a long-term relationship needs to survive the very real demands of living together. Hence, it’s important to know what things you need to feel secure about in a relationship and that’s exactly where we come in. Read on and find out.

1. Don’t Compare Your Partner To Your Ex

11 Things You Need To Feel Secure In A Relationship

Remember what happened when Ross compared Rachel with the woman he slept with? They broke up and that’s exactly why you shouldn’t compare your partner with any of your exes. Different people have different approaches towards life and comparing them is just not fair.

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12 things you should know when raising a daughter


Karissa Ancell

Here are 12 things you should know to help raise beautiful women in this challenging world.

Raising girls is hard work, well, raising kids in general can be hard work. My daughter is eight and I have prepared for her to enter the tween and teen years. It can be frightening because as parents, we want to protect our children but the reality is, there is only so much we can do. So, I have put together the 12 things I think mothers of girls should know.

  1. Your makeup is now her makeup

My daughter really likes doing makeovers on herself. With time, lessons will have to be taught on applying less but for now, it’s just for fun.

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