Is A Normal Marriage Good Enough?

The word “normal” can go either way.  If you’re talking about blood pressure, eye sight, or the size of your newborn’s head, “normal” is a good thing.  If you’re talking about academics, talent, or marriage, “normal” seems less than desirable.

Many couples beat themselves up and stress themselves out trying to keep their marriage from slipping into “normal.” (See the movie, “This is 40.”)

What is it that causes us to think “normal” is not good enough when it comes to marriage? [Read more…]


What If Your Spouse Came With Emojis?

Emojis are the little faces and symbols we use to clarify the intent and feeling behind the words we text, tweet, and post. It was once just elementary school children who drew smiley faces on ruled paper, but now CEO’s in suits are tacking these little faces on the end of their electronic communications. Emojis are the hieroglyphics of our time.

Wouldn’t it be great if emoji’s showed up on your spouse’s forehead to tell you what they were thinking and feeling? Think about it! No more wondering what’s really going on behind their words and actions.  [Read more…]


I’m Listening – Reader Survey

There are two things that can get you off track in the marriage. The first is not speaking up to the other about what you want and need. The second is not listening to the other about what they want and need.

If you will take just two minutes or less to fill out this reader survey, you can speak up about what you want and need in this blog, and I can listen and try to make the blog more helpful to you.

The survey is very simple and easy. (It’s mainly click-the-box type of questions.) So as a reader of the Normal Marriage blog, please give me just two minutes of your time to help me make this blog better for you, and thanks for reading.

Take the Survey



Just Do It!

Board Game - Depositphotos_14634915_s-2015_editedThink of something you just don’t want to do. Maybe it’s cleaning the garage or organizing your closet. Perhaps it’s giving the dog a bath or cleaning the bathroom. It could be cleaning the gutters or working on your taxes. Or maybe it’s that mammogram or colonoscopy you’re avoiding like the plague.

We all have things we don’t want to do. We put them off, because they’re no fun.

Likewise, there are things in marriage we don’t like to do, so we put them off. Things like: [Read more…]


How to Put Your Kids and Your Marriage in Their Proper Place

When I stepped into the waiting room, I noticed that Bryan and Christine (not their real names) were sitting in separate chairs and weren’t talking. As they took separate seats in my office, I asked them why they had come to counseling. The question was met with sighs and silence. After some awkward attempts to get Bryan to go first, Christine finally said, “We’re really struggling in our marriage. ” From there, the story began to roll out.

They were once good friends and playful lovers who talked, laughed, and spent time together. But now they were more like room mates who only talked when they needed to. Christine was focused on their 3 active kids and the mounds of laundry and homework that came with them. Bryan was focused on the increasing demands of providing for their family, and the occasional game of golf. Their time together was spent discussing kids, schedules, or money. This seemed to be the only thing holding them together. [Read more…]


Rescue Your Marriage From the “If Only’s”

Have you ever regretted something, and the more you thought about it the more you found yourself saying, “If only”? Maybe it was something you said, or something you did, or a decision you made, but whatever it was left you with regret and the reverberation of “if only.”

We all have those “if only” regrets. They sound something like this: [Read more…]


How to Have the Perfect Marriage. Really!

I know they say there’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. But what if there is? What if it’s possible to have the perfect marriage?

Some people think that to have the perfect marriage you have to marry the right person. But I don’t think that works. No one’s perfect, and with all the people out there, the odds of finding the right person is pretty slim.

I think to have a perfect marriage you have to do something different. You have to… [Read more…]


Lessons From Living in a Shack

In twenty years of marriage counseling, I’ve seen couples put more and more emphasis on their house.

I’ve seen engaged couples believe they couldn’t get married until they had purchased a three bedroom, two bath home. I’ve seen couples expecting a child purchase a bigger home for more bedrooms, bigger yard, better neighborhood, a pool, or a playroom.

It’s as if we believe we can’t have a good marriage and family unless we have the “right” house. [Read more…]


How to Find What You’re Looking For in Marriage: Lessons From Hunting Mushrooms

We decide to get married because we’re looking for something and we believe we’ve found it in our spouse. But a few years into the marriage, we’re still looking for something and we’re wondering why our spouse is withholding it. What happened?

There’s a general principle in life and marriage, and it’s this: we tend to find what we’re looking for. It was true when you were dating, and it’s still true now in your marriage. But what happens is we change what we’re looking for. [Read more…]


4 Things That Can Disrupt Your Sex Life.

I don’t write much about sex in this blog. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with the topic. Maybe it’s because I know a lot of wives read this blog and I don’t want to come across as the “typical male who’s only thinking about one thing.” Maybe it’s because there’s so much out there on sex and marriage I don’t know what else to add to the topic. Maybe it’s because I know my wife reads this blog and I don’t want to wind up in the dog house or be reminded of how much I don’t know.

But whatever the reason, we need to talk about sex, because it’s an important part of marriage. [Read more…]