Did I Marry the Right One?

Did I marry “the right one?” There can be times in marriage when that question races across your mind like a streaker running across a football field. It can happen when you’re having that same old fight for the umpteenth time. It can happen when the two of you disagree on what’s fun and what’s boring. It can happen when your goals for the future don’t line up. It can happen when the differences between you and your spouse has you grinding your teeth.

It’s during these out-of-sync-times that spouses begin to wonder, “Did I marry the right one?” For some couples, the longer they’re married the more the question pops up. They try to beat the question back, as if they were playing a game of marital whack-a-mole, but no matter what they do, the question keeps coming up.  [Read more…]


Monogam-ish? Really?

There is an idea related to marriage that is slowly gaining traction in our culture. It is the idea that you can be monogamous maritally, without being exclusive sexually. The term for this is “monogam-ish.”

When I first encountered this term, I was doing some web research and it came up in a Google search. My first thought was, “Monogam-ish? Really?” Curious, I clicked on a video explaining the concept of being monogram-ish. My reaction went from “you’ve got to be kidding” to “I can’t believe we’re even having this discussion!”

The rationale behind being monogam-ish goes like this… [Read more…]


Funny How Things Can Take You Back

It’s funny how things can take you back. It could be a song, or a smell. It could be a phrase, or a scene from a movie. Whatever it is, you know it when it happens, because you’re suddenly transported back to a better time (hopefully.)

Have you ever come across something that took you back to an earlier time in your marriage? Maybe it was a time where you were younger, more carefree, more energetic, or more idealistic. It happened to me early one morning as I was leaving for work. [Read more…]


The Gift of Attention

Attention is like air to our emotional lungs. Without attention, babies fail to thrive. Without attention, children struggle emotionally and scholastically. Without attention, isolated people become loners and sometimes threats to society. Without attention, marriages flame out like cooling fireworks falling to earth. Without attention, the light in a senior’s eyes quickly dims.

Every soul needs attention, but attention is the one thing that we cannot get for ourselves. (Yes, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater will get you attention, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.) Attention – the kind brings life to our soul – cannot be taken. It must be given as a gift. [Read more…]


I Blamed it on the CPAP

Small acts of love and kindness can have a big impact on marriage, but as time goes on, these small acts tend to get lost in the clutter of marriage. They begin to fade like an old pair of jeans.

It happened to me, and my wife lovingly brought it to my attention one night as I was preparing to go to sleep. How did I handle it? I blamed it on a CPAP.

I guess this calls for some explanation. [Read more…]


Marriage at McDonalds

I have a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. I work with married couples weekly, and I regularly write about how to improve marriage. Still, it was an elderly couple at McDonald that taught me my most recent lessons on marriage. [Read more…]


Are You Listening?

“Are you listening to me?” “You never listen to me.” “I’ve tried to tell you, but you just don’t listen.” “If you would listen you would know.”

Have you ever heard your spouse say something like this? If so, join the ranks of the many. Not listening is one of the most common complaints I hear from spouses. I’m sure my spouse has complained about it also, but I probably wasn’t listening at the time. Why do so many of us drop the ball when it comes to listening? [Read more…]


Is Your Marriage Meaningful or Mundane?

Is your marriage meaningful or mundane? It’s easy to skip over that question. An honest answer to that question might not be what we want to hear. But if we’re brave enough to ponder it, the question will lead us to ask another question. What makes a marriage meaningful?

I recently read a post by Donald Miller about what makes a life meaningful. In the post he referenced Dr. Viktor Frankl. Dr. Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust and the Nazi death camps. It was these experiences that led him to consider what gives life meaning. Is it fame, family, wealth, or pleasure that gives life meaning? When such things are taken away, does life lose it’s meaning? [Read more…]


Comfortably Uncomfortable

We all want to be comfortable. We want comfortable chairs, comfortable shoes, comfortable beds, comfortable clothes, comfortable retirements…comfortable everything.

We especially want comfortable marriages. We want marriages that are calm, happy, and easy. We want spouses who like what we like, act like we act, and always think we’re wonderful. We also want to win the lottery, but that’s probably not going to happen either.

Marriage is never completely comfortable. It is always a mixture of comfortable and uncomfortable. Because of that, you’re marriage will either be uncomfortably comfortable or comfortably uncomfortable. [Read more…]


Falling Behind

Have you ever felt like you’re falling so far behind on something that there’s little hope of getting back to where you need to be? Have you ever thought, “What the heck. It’s too late now. Why even try. I’m too far behind.” Maybe you’ve felt that way about a project at work, or a hobby you always wanted to pursue. Maybe you’ve felt that way about your finances, or that career change you always wanted to make. Maybe you’ve even felt that way about your marriage.

At times we all feel like we’re falling behind, and it can be paralyzing. [Read more…]