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Have you ever thought or said these words after you said the vows “til death do us part”?

I just can’t take it anymore… We’ve grown apart… I love you as a friend, but I’m not in love with you anymore… You aren’t the person I married… Things change.

The crazy thing is, many happily married people also experience some of these feelings. It’s true. Sometimes you feel like you can’t take it anymore. Other times you may feel distant to your spouse. Over time, mates do change.

But do all these things have to shake the very foundation of your marriage? The answer is NO.

What makes it possible for first-time marriages to survive?

Marriage experts have found that couples who make their marriage work decide upfront that divorce is not an option. Although many couples who choose to divorce have challenges, their marriage probably could have been saved and in the long run been a happy one. Their fatal error in the relationship was leaving their options open. If the going got too tough, in their mind, divorce was always a way out.

You might be surprised to find this out, but research shows that divorce does not make you happier.

Does Divorce Make People Happy? Findings from a Study of Unhappy Marriages, conducted by the Institute for American Values, found that:

  • Unhappily married adults who divorced or separated were no happier, on average, than unhappily married adults who stayed married.
  • Unhappy marriages were less common than unhappy spouses.
  • Staying married did not typically trap unhappy spouses in violent relationships.
  • 2 out of 3 unhappily married adults who avoided divorce or separation ended up happily married five years later.

The bottom line is, you have to make a decision to stay at the table and be committed to making the marriage work. Here are some things to help you keep the vow: “til death do us part.”

  • Learn skills to help keep your marriage on track. Research continues to show that couples who learn how to talk to each other, resolve conflict, manage their money, have appropriate expectations of the marriage, and build intimacy are significantly more likely to keep their marriage on track over time.
  • Understand that the grass may look greener on the other side, but you still have to mow it. On the surface, someone may look better than the one you are with, but in truth, even beautiful sod eventually has onions, crabgrass, and clover if you don’t properly care for it. In most cases, people who have jumped the fence will testify that the grass is not greener, just different.
  • Learn how to resolve conflict without threatening to leave the marriage. All couples have spats. Some yell; others talk things through. The common denominator for couples who keep their marriage on track is learning how to disagree with the best of them, but leaving the marriage is never an option.
  • Stop using divorce as a crutch. Instead of throwing in the towel when the going gets tough, consider it a challenge to learn as much as you can about your mate and how you can effectively deal with adversity. Intentionally choose to love the one you’re with.
  • Keep the big picture perspective. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. One woman described her 65-year marriage to a group of young people. She shared about seven years throughout the 65-year span that were really bad due to work conditions, children, lack of time together, the husband’s out of town job for a couple of years, etc. In the end, she asked herself, “Would I really want to trade 58 good years for seven bad years?” The answer was a resounding “No!” All marriages experience trials and tough moments. Don’t trade years of history for a couple of bad months or tough years.
  • Make a plan for your marriage. Going into marriage without a plan is like playing a football game without memorizing the playbook. If you want to win, you’ll have team meetings, set goals, learn and relearn skills, learn how to lead and follow, and share responsibilities. And, you both need a copy of the playbook.

If you want a “til death do us part” marriage, you must learn the plays so you can execute them correctly and prepare to adapt in different situations. That takes time. When you understanding that there will be occasional setbacks, you can move toward the goal line and even score a few touchdowns. Teammates block for each other, throw the ball to one another, help each other up, and encourage perseverance when the going gets tough.

It has been said that individuals win games, but teamwork wins championships. So, make it your goal to have a championship marriage.

 ***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

Want to take date night up a notch?

DISCOVER A DEEPER LEVEL OF INTIMACY IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WITH HOT LOVE.

This premium on-demand virtual date night guides you and your spouse to learn the secrets to growing deep intimacy. You’ll work together to learn…

  • Tools to reframe your mindset
  • Ways to discover and remove roadblocks to intimacy
  • Strategies for turning up the temperature

Do you want an awesome, amazing, mind-blowing marriage?

The answer to that question is usually a resounding YES! But, it’s quickly followed with something like, “I could only hope for that,” or “Only in my dreams.”

“Based on my experience as a counselor, I think a lot of people feel like they are sentenced to a life of boredom when they marry,” says Darlene Karst, counselor, marriage educator, and wife. “The reality is that could not be further from the truth … if you are willing to put effort into making your marriage fun, romantic, passionate, and intimate.”

It would be unusual for someone to be an exceptional mechanic, golfer, artist, or chef without training and a lot of practice. Yet people often expect to be excellent lovers and great at marriage overnight.

“The truth is, if you want to have an awesome, amazing, mind-blowing marriage, you have to set your mind to it and work to make it happen,” Karst says. “We might be in the middle of hard economic times, but that doesn’t mean it has to be tough on your marriage. You don’t need a lot of money to make your relationship more romantic and intimate.”

Karst suggests that there are certain things couples need to guard against because they are passion-killers in a marriage. When people think about passion and romance they often don’t consider how certain things can rob you of those feelings while others can set the tone. Consider the color of your room and the textures you have in your bedroom. Do they inspire romance?

“I always ask couples if they have a television in their bedroom,” Karst says. “If they do, I tell them to get rid of it. The bedroom should be a sanctuary where you can be together without distractions. Other things that can rob you of romantic moments include old worn-out nightgowns and underclothing, sports memorabilia, and other things that clutter up the bedroom as well as fighting in your bedroom.”

With busy careers, children, and outside commitments there is no question that life is hectic. Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans can end up out the window when a child gets sick, the boss hands out an urgent deadline or a disagreement comes along.

“More often than not, those things are exceptions to the rule and not the rule,” Karst says. “Therefore, I encourage couples to make a plan. Make sure you set aside time during the week to talk about children, bills, meetings, etc. Just as you set aside time for these things, set aside time to be together.”

If you’re lacking in the creativity department, try these suggestions for a mind-blowing marriage:

  • Take turns planning a special evening of pampering for your spouse. Think about what’s important to your partner and plan an evening to indulge him or her. Be intentional about being with your partner physically and emotionally. Because men are so visual, one wife wore one of her husband’s favorite outfits and did things he really liked. On another night, he drew a bath for her and gave her a massage.
  • Do things differently. If you always make love the same way, change that so it doesn’t become routine. Consider these questions to help spice up your love life: What brings you the most sexual fulfillment? How often would you like to make love? What changes do you need to make to keep sex fresh and growing? (Read 10 Things Every Married Couple Should Know About Sex)
  • Teach the kids that your bedroom is your bedroom. When the door is closed, it means that mom and dad want a timeout. While this may sound totally unrealistic, it might surprise you how well it works once they get the idea.

Perhaps now is a great time to kick off an ongoing celebration of your marriage. To learn more about having an awesome, amazing, mind-blowing marriage, click here.

 ***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

Is your marriage unexciting and dull? Have the feelings you had for each other on your wedding day become a distant memory? Do you ever look at other people and envy the spontaneity and freedom they seem to have? If so, you aren’t alone.

According to marriage experts, many couples enter into marriage with the expectation that it will always be exciting and romantic.

Then careers, children, in-laws, and other demands come along and often throw couples for a loop. They begin asking themselves questions like, “Did I marry the wrong person? Why should I stay in a relationship when I am not happy? Did I marry for all the wrong reasons?”

“Love is an interesting emotion,” says Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages. “It begins with what I refer to as the ‘tingles.’ You are emotionally obsessed with someone. You go to bed and wake up thinking about him, and have a hard time getting anything done because you can’t get him off your mind. This is accompanied by irrational thinking, believing that this person is perfect and there is nothing more important in life than being with him/her. Some people tell themselves that they will never be happy without this person in their life.

“This is accompanied by an illusion of intimacy. When you encourage couples to attend a marriage education class, they look at you like you are crazy to suggest working on the relationship since they believe their relationship doesn’t need any work. The illusion of intimacy blinds people to their differences in things like taste, values, music, priorities, etc.”

Emotional obsession, irrational thinking and illusion of intimacy lead to faulty conclusions such as, “I will never be happy unless we are married.” According to research, these feelings are not always permanent. The average lifespan of an obsession is two years—then people come off their high.

How does this relate to a ho-hum stage in marriage, you might ask?

When the “in-love obsession” subsides in marriage, people begin to see what they didn’t see before. All those things that were so cute when you were dating now get on your last nerve.

“Many couples are shocked by their loss of feelings for each other and are traumatized by conflicts,” Chapman says. “In many instances, they have no idea how to deal with the conflicts. The conflicts lead to fights. Then they think things like, ‘I wish I had married the other person.’ Walls go up and there is a loss of intimacy. Each person can give volumes of evidence as to why their spouse is at fault for the failing marriage.”

Then it happens. In the midst of your marital struggles, someone else comes along. The person is funny, spontaneous, full of life, neat, etc. He/she seems much more exciting than your current spouse. This person seems to have all the qualities you love in a person and you get the tingles all over again.

“This is when people start thinking ‘I never did love her’ or ‘I got married for all the wrong reasons,’ to convince themselves that their marriage was not right from the beginning and to somehow justify divorce,” Chapman says. “The problem is, they don’t understand that in two years they could potentially be in the very same place. Some people marry multiple times because every time they get the tingles they think they’ve finally found the right person.”

So, what do you do?

  • Recognize the tingles for what they are—they aren’t always trustworthy.
  • Keep your guard up—when there are troubles at home, you are vulnerable to misinterpreting the attention of others.
  • Seek out professional help from someone who is marriage-friendly.
  • Be leery of those who want to give you advice—even people with the best intentions can give you BAD advice.

Understand that it is normal to experience ho-hum stages in your marriage. Even the healthiest of marriages go through this. The key is to recognize it and do something about it. The ho-hum phase should be temporary. You really can feel the tingles again for your spouse.

Looking for more? Watch this episode of JulieB TV on this topic!

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

If you’re married, you’ve probably had a spirited discussion or two with your spouse. Chances are, it’s been about money, sex, jealousy over time spent outside the marriage, in-laws, child-rearing, or spirituality/faith.

“Based on research, we have learned that these are six of the most common toxic subjects for couples,” says Beverly Rodgers, marriage and family therapist and co-author of Soul Healing Love. “These topics cause the greatest amount of conflict in a marital relationship. Every couple has at least three, and the average couple has five of these that they argue about or discuss on a regular basis.”

“Couples know that they are dealing with a toxic subject when it triggers conflict and they can’t find a way to resolve it,” Rodgers asserts. “They either avoid the topic at all costs or jump in with both feet and later wished they hadn’t.”

Toxic subjects often bring relationships to the breaking point. How couples handle those toxic subjects is important.

The reaction to one of these issues usually falls into one of four categories:

  • Withdrawal or stonewalling,
  • Criticism,
  • Defensiveness, and/or
  • Contempt.

Take heart, though. Rodgers believes that you can learn how to keep these toxins from poisoning your marriage by identifying and dealing with the root issue.

“We encourage couples to dig deeper to get to the heart of the matter so they aren’t just coping with the issue, but extinguishing it,” Rodgers shares. “We ask couples to answer some basic questions.”

  • What does my mate do that triggers my anger?
  • When my mate does _____, I feel ________.
  • What is the root of my anger? Guilt, Inferiority/Inadequacy, Fear or Trauma/Pain?
  • When have I ever felt this before?
  • When I feel this feeling, what do I do? How do I behave?
  • What do I really need?

“After literally seeing hundreds of couples who were stuck in a marital rut, we recognized that a great deal of what couples are in conflict about goes back to their childhood,” Rodgers continues. “We also recognized that guilt, inferiority/inadequacy, fear and trauma/pain are usually emotions underlying the feeling of anger. Identifying these emotions uncovers what is really going on inside when you are angry at your spouse.”

Take this couple for instance.

A husband expects his wife to have the house clean and dinner on the table when he gets home. Despite her best efforts, it is next to impossible to get everything done with two young children underfoot. Every evening he walks through the door and gives her a look of disappointment. She feels guilty and inadequate. On the other hand, he feels inferior. Both get defensive and the evening goes downhill from there.

Through the digging deeper exercise, the husband realizes that throughout his childhood, his mother did everything for him. He interpreted that as a subtle message that he was incompetent or incapable of doing things for himself. This resulted in unrealistic and unfair expectations of his wife.

His wife, on the other hand, is the oldest of four. She kept up with her younger siblings, and her parents criticized her whenever she didn’t do things quite right. This made her feel inferior and hurt (trauma). Her husband’s disdainful look echoes the disappointment she felt from her parents as a child. In response, she distances herself from him and pulls away, which is exactly what this relationship does not need. She really needs to know that her husband loves her unconditionally.

“Rather than getting locked into a power struggle over cooking supper or cleaning the house, the couple will fare better if they understand the deeper meaning of what is really going on,” Rodgers says. “As couples begin to dig deeper, instead of fighting over often ultimately silly issues, they move away from being locked into a negative perception of each other.

“In our example, the wife thought her husband was a control freak. The husband thought she was inefficient and lazy. Through this exercise, they saw each other on a deeper level and realized that wounds and needs were behind those requests. The deeper understanding gave them motivation to meet each other’s needs rather than locking horns. Now there is empathy and desire, which can grow passion. What once was a lifeless relationship on the brink is now a relationship with new life.”

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

YOU CAN BE HAPPILY MARRIED.

And no, that’s not just a fairytale. Sometimes we settle, we coexist, we go along to get along, or we just try to keep the damage to a minimum. There are no perfect marriages. There are also no unicorns. So what? You can always Maximize Your Marriage. You know what’s NOT a mythical creature? Your marriage being BETTER than you could ever imagine.

To help you write the next chapter of your marriage story, each module features…

  • A simple, easy-to-understand video lead by marriage experts,
  • A download to help you personalize the key concepts for your marriage, and
  • Action items to transform your marriage as you go through the course.

You’ll have access to two marriage experts every step of the way to answer any questions or just give you a little encouragement. (THIS is what makes Maximize Your Marriage customized & personalized!)

Why Date Night Matters

Hint: It does more than just get you out of the house.

In the early years of marriage, couples usually find it easy to schedule date nights. Once children come along and careers get more intense though, date night takes last place on the list of important things needing attention. Before long, couples find themselves going through the motions of marriage and stuck in a rut when it comes to romance, all the while looking for a cure.

Guess what?

Date night could be the cure. Here’s why date night matters…

Helps You Connect

When life gets crazy, intentionally scheduling regular time to move away from all the distractions—children, jobs, other commitments—to focus on each other and talk about important topics helps you stay connected. This connectedness helps you feel less stressed in the midst of the chaos that is life.

Increases Intimacy

Speaking of less stress, another benefit of regular date nights is increasing intimacy and passion in your marriage. In the early years of marriage, romantic moments tend to come easily for couples. Romance often fades, however, without intentional effort to stoke the flames of desire. Date night helps couples remember why they first fell in love, and it lays the foundation for reigniting passion.

Builds Resilience

Regular date nights also help to build resilience to carry your marriage relationship during challenging times. Focusing on each other and nurturing your relationship helps you build a strong foundation for your marriage. As a result, when you encounter tough times, you have built up enough marital bandwidth to face difficulties as a team. When you come out on the other side of the challenge, your couple bond is strong instead of feeling frayed.

Increases Happiness

There is plenty of research about the significance of play and fun moments in a marriage. Howard Markman, a psychologist who co-directs the University of Denver’s Center for Marital and Family Studies, says their research indicates the more you invest in fun and friendship and being there for your partner, the happier the relationship will get over time. The correlation between fun and marital happiness is high and significant. For men, the connection is even more important. Research showed men are more likely than women to call their spouse their best friend. So go ahead and make plans to play. It’s vital for your marriage.

Energizes Your Relationship

Most couples who have been married an extended period of time will probably tell you it’s easy to fall in a rut. One day you look at each other and ask how you got to this place, especially when you vowed that you would never be that boring couple who barely has the energy to crawl to bed, much less plan a date night. Believe it or not, the routine and mundane can be the quiet killer of relationships. If this is you, it’s not too late to do something different.

Shake things up a bit. It’s kind of like working out. There are plenty of times you don’t feel like exercising, but you are so glad you pushed yourself after your workout is done. The same principle applies here, because date night matters in small ways that yield big results. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just different than what you usually do.

Date night may seem like an optional item on your “to-do” list that requires planning and energy you don’t feel like you have right now. The truth is, date night is vital for the health of your relationship. If money is keeping you from going on a date, barter childcare with a friend for whom you can return the favor, collect all the loose change in your house and car and challenge yourselves to go on a date using that loose change.

Not feeling very creative? Here are a few ideas to get your juices flowing:

  • Put the kids to bed early, pull out the candles, cook something easy or order carry out and have dinner by candlelight sans children.
  • If your spouse can handle surprises, leave clues for a mystery date to their favorite restaurant or a location that has significant meaning to the two of you.
  • Pull out the board games, order pizza and play on.
  • Hop in the car, decide what direction you will head and how many miles you will drive. Grab a bite to eat at the restaurant closest to that mile marker and enjoy each other’s company.

Date night matters, but it doesn’t have to be extravagant to make a significant positive impact on your marriage. Don’t let the tyranny of the urgent crowd out nurturing your relationship. It’s well worth the investment.

Want to take date night up a notch?

DISCOVER A DEEPER LEVEL OF INTIMACY IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WITH HOT LOVE.

This premium on-demand virtual date night guides you and your spouse to learn the secrets to growing deep intimacy. You’ll work together to learn…

  • Tools to reframe your mindset
  • Ways to discover and remove roadblocks to intimacy
  • Strategies for turning up the temperature

Building a Strong Marriage

Here's a top 10 list you need to know about!

Each year, more than 2 million couples marry in the U.S. While most couples say they are madly in love, some really wonder if they have what it takes to build a strong marriage that lasts over time.

Whether you’re married now or planning to, you’ll want to know about a Life Innovations survey of 21,501 married couples from every state. It identified not only the top 10 strengths of happy marriages, but also the top 10 problems in marriage.

The top 10 strengths are as follows:

  • Partners are satisfied with communication.
  • Partners handle their differences creatively.
  • They feel very close to each other.
  • Spouses are not controlling.
  • Partners discuss their problems well.
  • They are satisfied with the affection they show and receive.
  • There is a good balance of time alone and together.
  • Family and friends rarely interfere.
  • Partners agree on how to spend money.
  • Partners agree on spiritual beliefs.

Additionally, the research found that the strongest couples have strong communication skills, a clear sense of closeness as a couple, flexibility, personal compatibility and good conflict resolution skills.

Strong marriages have a balance between separateness and togetherness. These couples prioritize togetherness, ask each other for help, enjoy doing things together and spend most of their free time together.

Also, some of the common factors in the relationship roles in strong marriages include both parties:

  • Are equally willing to make necessary adjustments in their roles,
  • Reporting satisfaction with the division of housework,
  • Working hard to have an equal relationship, and
  • Making most decisions jointly.

The happiest couples said they were happy with the way they communicate. They said that they found their partner to be a good listener, which made it easy to express their feelings. They especially noted that their partner doesn’t use put-downs.

Obviously, conflict management/resolution skills are crucial. In strong marriages, both partners say that their partner understands their positions. They feel free to share their feelings and ideas; they take disagreements seriously and they work cooperatively to resolve conflicts.

According to the survey, the top 10 problems in marriage are:

  • Problems sharing leadership.
  • One partner is too stubborn.
  • Stress created by child-rearing differences.
  • One partner is too negative or critical.
  • Feeling responsible for issues.
  • One partner wishes the other had more time.
  • Avoiding conflict with partner.
  • One partner wishes the other was more willing to share their feelings.
  • Difficulty completing tasks.
  • Differences don’t ever get resolved.

For example, some common stumbling blocks are when one person feels most responsible for the problem, avoiding conflict and having serious disputes over minor issues. Sadly, relationships with unresolved differences can get into trouble. As a result, stumbling blocks become walls instead of stepping stones to build up the marriage.

Finally, no matter how in love you feel, bringing two personalities and their families together and learning how to dance can be challenging.

So don’t just prepare for your wedding – take time to prepare for your marriage. Learn how to build on your strengths, creatively address differences and work together for the best interests of your marriage. It will probably be the best wedding present you can give to each other.

Image from iStock.com

Want to take date night up a notch?

DISCOVER A DEEPER LEVEL OF INTIMACY IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WITH HOT LOVE.

This premium on-demand virtual date night guides you and your spouse to learn the secrets to growing deep intimacy. You’ll work together to learn…

  • Tools to reframe your mindset
  • Ways to discover and remove roadblocks to intimacy
  • Strategies for turning up the temperature

The Value of Family Meals

Mealtimes are opportunities to connect and learn from each other.

For more than 40 years, Lynn and Pat Panter have been hosting family dinner on Sundays.

“It’s funny, this is just something we have always done,” says Lynn Panter. “When our children were little, we had Sunday dinner. As they got older, we kept on doing it. Here we are 40 years later with grown children, spouses, boyfriends and grandchildren seated around the table.”

Unlike some, the Panters don’t require or expect anyone to come for family dinners.

“There is no pressure to come,” Lynn says. “If they have something else to do, they know they are free to go do it with no repercussions for not being present. We usually have between eight and 16 people seated around the table on any given Sunday.”

Between the laughter, the stories and discussions about their day, it is always a lively experience and a great way for the family to connect.

“Even though my husband was on the road a lot when our daughters were young, the expectation was that we all ate dinner together,” Lynn says. “This was our time to catch up with each other and the events of the day. It kept us connected even when schedules were hectic.”

Research shows that regular and meaningful family meals offer a variety of benefits both to children and adults. Studies suggest that having dinner together as a family at least four times a week positively affects child development and is linked to lower obesity risk, decreased likelihood of substance abuse and eating disorders, and an increased chance of graduating from high school.

Additionally, meals provide a sense of family unity and identity as well as teaching traditions. Discussions around the dinner table not only give children an opportunity to express themselves, they also teach them to wait their turn to speak and hear many different perspectives. In some instances, they learn how to agree or disagree.

Family meals help parents transmit their values from one generation to the next and teach good table manners and etiquette. These times together as a family create a bond and shared memories that children carry with them long into adulthood.

The key to the success of these gatherings is making them technology-free zones – no televisions, tablets, or cellphones allowed.

“Some people probably wonder why we still have the Sunday dinners.” Lynn says. “I think the biggest reason we still do it is because we really enjoy being together. We look forward to catching up with each other. It’s not formal and everybody pitches in — which is a good thing. In order to do something like this, you need to enjoy doing it, otherwise, it becomes a burden.”

If you realize the value of family meals and it has been on your “to-do” list, this is the time to make it happen. Set a date, keep it simple and watch what happens. Younger family members may balk at first, but once they get in the routine, they will look forward to time together. Who knows what may be happening at your house 40 years from now?

Perhaps you have seen the video It’s Not about the Nail that has millions of views on YouTube.

As a couple sits on the couch, the female describes relentless pressure and pain in her head that won’t go away. While she vocalizes her frustration, the scene expands enough for the viewer to see a nail in her forehead.

The male says to her, “You do have a nail in your head.”

Her response? “It is not about the nail.”

An argument ensues. She accuses him of not listening and of always trying to fix things when what she really wants is for him to listen. She continues to talk about how much pain she is in, how she is not sleeping well and that every sweater she has is snagged.

He looks at her and says, “That sounds really hard.” Her facial expression softens and she reaches out to touch his hand as she realizes he feels her pain. She leans forward to kiss him, only to hit the nail in her head. Once more, he tells her she just needs to get the nail out of her head, and off to the races they go…again.

Men are notorious for wanting to fix the problem, but women just want men to listen.

Sound familiar? There probably isn’t a couple on the planet that can’t relate to this scenario.

If you have something so obvious like a nail in your head and you aren’t willing to listen to your spouse that is a problem, BUT not everything is that simple. Sometimes, not everything sticks out like a nail in the head, but guys try to fix it anyway. And, there are many instances when guys really do need to just listen.

Did you know there are ways to bridge this communication divide? Here are some tips to help you communicate with the opposite sex.

  • Stop trying to change each other. Men tend to communicate with purpose to solve a problem. Women spend a lot of time communicating to bond and build relationship. Neither way is wrong.
  • Before starting a conversation with your husband, tell him what you want. Do you want him to just listen or do you want him to help solve the problem? Doing this could spare both of you a lot of agony.
  • In general, men tend to think things through before they talk. Instead of saying nothing is wrong because you aren’t ready to talk about it, tell her you aren’t ready to talk and give her a time when you will give her the download. Women, this is your cue to back off.
  • If you want to keep your husband’s attention, cut to the chase and be direct.
  • Learn to listen. Listening does not come naturally. It takes effort to focus on what someone is saying.
  • Avoid mindreading. Assuming you know what someone else is thinking can create a lot of unnecessary drama.

Men, learn to look past the proverbial nail in the head. And ladies, don’t be so quick to dismiss a potential solution to your problem.

Instead of getting irritated because your spouse doesn’t communicate just like you, take it as a challenge to learn how to engage and understand each other’s point of view.

Tired of the so-so communication in your marriage? 

Check out this hefty DIGITAL E-BOOK by Marriage Researchers & Therapists

Inside, you’ll find:

  • How and why you and your spouse communicate differently, and what to do about it
  • 5 proven listening techniques that will pump up the intimacy in your relationship
  • 4 ways to start and end difficult conversations well
  • 5 ways you may be hindering communication with your spouse without realizing it
  • AND MORE!

PLUS! Every section has an easy, no-stress discussion guide created for you and your partner to build the communication you want in your marriage.

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***