Do you want to know the secret to divorce-proofing your marriage? Me too.
We don't have to search far to discover thousands of couples who struggle with the disillusion of a not-so-new-anymore love. Maybe you know them...perhaps even two of those faces looked back at you from the mirror this morning.
Again, me too at points throughout the years.
If you've been wondering about what to do with your stalled relationship, know that you're not alone. Sometimes couples suffer in silence, but it doesn't mean that tough patches aren't common.
Take for instance these couples' admissions. When marriage therapist and author, Laura Taggart, asked them, "What are the biggest surprises and challenges about marriage?," this is what they had to say:
"How the little stuff can become big stuff so quickly."
"How quickly the 'young love' turns into the 'old couple.' I feel like we have to schedule sex just to make it happen, while we used to be so spontaneous and romantic."
"I didn't imagine how compromising would be as hard as it can be sometimes."
"How much the daily grind chips away at romance."
You can probably relate, so what should we do about it?
Join Laura and me for our discussion on "How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage."
Married or single, Valentine’s Day has high flop potential.
The expectations are back-breaking, the babysitters can get expensive, and who knows if the LBD still fits from five years ago?
Besides, it’s not even a “real” holiday. This year, it falls on a Wednesday, which means the day’s schedule will go on just like usual. But alas, Hallmark has made monsters out of us, myself included.
Who doesn’t secretly pine for the candlelit dinner and a glass of fancy wine?
For the compliments by the fireside or the secretly-planned getaway? And dang it, I’d love nothing more than to sausage myself into that dress collecting dust in the closet!
As it turns out, romance isn’t dead just because he put a ring on it. And it’s not lost because there seem to be demanding, little people running the household.
If getting out of the house feels harder than climbing Mount Everest this year, here’s a whole week of budget-friendly ideas to bring you closer to your spouse.
I’d rather scrub toilets than put laundry away.
Seriously. You pair those little socks together and fold the jeans just right. Then one of your angels pulls out a pair from the bottom of the pile.
You know how everything crashes over like a Jenga tower? That’s why organizing laundry seems pointless, like neatly arranging a pile of leaves for a thunderstorm.
He likes fresh towels. She likes mopped floors. How often? They argue about it.
When it comes to marriage, fighting over chores is more common than any of us care to admit.
Women say they’d rather “do it their way,” but quietly seethe, afraid to ask for help. Nobody wants to be called “a nag."
Quiz: How much will a hundred dollars be worth if I put it in the bank for twenty years and it grows at its current interest rate?
Answer: Enough to keep the Hallmark channel on our TV package for at least a few months.
I'll admit, I’m not great with money. My better half will tell you that it’s not that I spend too much or too little of it. I’m just not a great long-term planner. And truthfully, I’d rather get a root canal than do math for fun.
The good news: I don’t manage any accounts at your local bank.
I've counseled couples through this very issue though, and heard some crazy stories in my day. I'll pass along lessons I've learned to those of you working to keep your marriage together with more than a little duct tape and Gorilla Glue.
Here are five money decisions that ruin marriage:
The stars aligned.
You and your tot finally finished the last day of medicine drops for that eye funk that cost you two pallets of eye shadow and a tube of mascara. And non-contagion means freedom!
You got the sitter days in advance.
Tonight’s the big night and you’ll make it happen—even if it means keeping your skinny jeans closed with a hair band looped through the button hole.
It took an act of God, but it was worth it. You're out of the house!
You finally sit down together and you know that moment—you look into your guy’s eyes and you seriously have to concentrate on topics to talk about.
Your brain’s gone all mama, and the problem is that a full-grown man is peering across the table from you. Stringing together interesting, big-people sentences feels like a task equal to earning the Nobel Peace Prize.
But have no fear, pretty mama. Here are five things you should talk about on date night:
It's August already. How did that happen? Time flies as the beach beckons, complete with an oversized umbrella and a glass of sweet tea. Many of us have been on the wedding circuit these past few months. Rather than traveling the Tour de Nuptiale, perhaps you've celebrated an anniversary recently. Summertime brings more than its share of opportunities to examine our own relationships as we lend our support to others'.
Last week we discussed the struggle and biblical significance of separation and divorce. I received feedback from you in response - from questions, to gratitude for “going there.”
A friend's comment stayed with me throughout the week. “Oh good,” she'd said. “I’m glad you’re talking about that because I never know what to say when somebody tells me they’re having problems.”
It’s a common struggle, and none of us enjoy foot-in-the-mouth moments. So here are seven easy, helpful (and fairly safe) things to say or do as a friend or family member confronts divorce.
“We never say the ‘D’ word in our house,” the older woman informs me with pride. “We both know it’s not an option so we make it work. We’ve been married over thirty years now.”
As I listen, I’m obviously happy for her. I also wonder if she and her husband are “good fighters.” Does one partner always get his or her way? Does the other concede and stay secretly resentful? My therapist mind kicks into action, but I decide it’s none of my business to ask…maybe another time.
Wedding bells echo, rings still carry their sheen, and picture frames grace the walls. It’s the making of a home. The promise of forever manifests in smells of fresh paint and dinners by candlelight. The honeymoon is but a memory, but the excitement of building a life remains. Exhilarating. Comfortable. Most couples never even see it coming.
Those who've experienced depression, anxiety, or other ailments understand the devastation these labels bring. “Anxiety” sounds like weakness. Maybe stressed-out is less threatening? We prefer exhausted to depressed and we’d rather describe ourselves as detail-oriented, instead of obsessive. The terms used in medicine sound impersonal, the exact opposite of the intimacy we long for in relationships.
God's in the business of miraculous healing, but He also charges us to be His “hands and feet..."
Here we are. Face hidden beneath my straw hat, tiny dots of sun sneak through the spaces of the finely woven material. I'm sprawled on my back, half-daydreaming and eyelids heavy, when I feel his hand rest on my arm. It took a couple of days for my husband and I to discover our old "relaxed" selves, but we're here now. Present. Counting no time except beats between each wave lapping the shoreline. This is our view for the day and I'm convinced it's a glimpse of heaven.
We've discussed stress together in the past. We've explored topics like our brain chemistry, families, prayer tips, symptoms of stress, and stress eating. This time, I'm taking a different angle, so here are three (over-looked) reasons that you need to get away...
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.