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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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What Makes a Good Marriage Story – Part 7: The Ending

(The posts in this series have been adapted from the “Relentless Love” marriage seminar, created and taught by David McKinley and Bret Legg at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.)

In this series, we’ve talked about the things that go into making a good marriage story. We’ve talked about the author, the characters, the obstacles, the guide, and the action.

As we come to the end of this series (I can almost hear you cheering) it seems appropriate that we finish by talking about the ending of your marriage story. [Read more…]

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What Makes a Good Marriage Story – Part 6: The Action

(The posts in this series have been adapted from the “Relentless Love” marriage seminar, created and taught by David McKinley and Bret Legg at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.)

If you’ve been following this series from the beginning, you already know about many of the parts of a good marriage story. You know about the author, the characters, the obstacles, and the guide.

But just having the parts of a good marriage story does not magically make the story, anymore than having the ingredients for a good cake magically makes the cake. You have to do something with those parts. You must take action and make the most of what you have if you’re going to make a great marriage story.  [Read more…]

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What Makes a Good Marriage Story – Part 5: The Guide

(The posts in this series have been adapted from the “Relentless Love” marriage seminar, created and taught by David McKinley and Bret Legg at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.)

In this series, we’re looking at your marriage as if it were a story, and hopefully a good story that you and others want to read. We’ve been talking about certain elements that every marriage needs in order to tell a good story. A good marriage story starts with a good author, and two main characters . Then, like any good story, those characters encounter obstacles and struggles that get in the way of what they want.

That leads us to the next element of a good marriage story.   [Read more…]

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What Makes a Good Marriage Story – Part 4: The Obstacles

(The posts in this series have been adapted from the “Relentless Love” marriage seminar, created and taught by David McKinley and Bret Legg at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.)

In this series, we’re looking at your marriage as if it were a story and what goes into making it a good story that you and others want to read. There are certain elements every marriage needs in order to tell a good story, starting with a good author and two main characters who are playing their parts well.

In a good story, the main characters are in pursuit of something they believe will bring them happiness and fulfillment. But that which the characters seek is never easily achieved. Just as they’re about to get what they want, something happens that thwarts their desire. There’s some sort of set back or defeat that puts what they want just out of their reach. [Read more…]