We owe it to our kids

When we got remarried, one of our goals was to model a loving, healthy marriage for our 4 children.  While this has remained in the forefront of our minds, the world around us has given more meaning to this specific goal.

We all have seen it, though it may not immediately register because we are so busy with our own lives, our own struggles and our own celebrations.

However, as we were reading through some blogs and news sites about marriage recently we were hit over the head with the reality.

More millennials today are deciding to live together unmarried than any other generation. Continue reading “We owe it to our kids”

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As victims, we learn to survive…and thrive

“Victim” may not be the most appropriate term, but it feels right given what we’ve been through – and what we know so many have been through as well.

Whether it is in marriage, or at work, or in other areas of life, we sometimes encounter people who attack us – and don’t stop.  For almost two years now, there has been someone in our lives who has gone all out to ruin our marriage and steal our joy on a weekly, and at times daily, basis.

During our engagement and through our first years of marriage we have been attacked and we didn’t know how to handle it.  We felt like victims.  And like most victims, survival is hard and even traumatic.

We’ve talked with and leaned on friends and they have constantly said, “Don’t let that person steal your joy.” Logically, we know they are right.  But as we get relentlessly attacked, it is hard not to feel victimized and helpless.

Only recently have we figured out how to survive…and actually thrive.

Several things have come together for us to get beyond this season in our life.  By creating a stronger marriage we are more equipped to handle the arrows headed our way.  We hope these few points can serve as hope for you or someone you know too.

  1. First and foremost, focus on your marriage and your relationship. Make sure you are both FULLY understanding each other.  Understand how you are being impacted and specifically hurt.  If you are being attacked it will impact you and your spouse differently – primarily because you are different people and different genders.  It is vitally important to get on the same page as your spouse in every possible way.  Counseling has been so important for us reconnecting better than we have ever connected.
  2. Research and use some self help books or video studies on marriage.  This will help you put your focus elsewhere.  We have a group that is learning about Love & Respect in marriage.  This has driven us to focus further on our marriage, our relationship and understanding each other.  We are more prepared now when one of us starts getting upset for one reason or another.  The group will also help you talk through the struggles.
  3. Find friends and people with wisdom to talk to and seek their support.  Perhaps they have been through something similar or maybe they will just be there to listen.  If they are a good friend, they will have something to offer. Don’t be afraid to ask them.
  4. Now the real hard part.  Avoid, ignore, and withdraw from any interaction with the person who is attacking you.  We have heard from many, and we understand that may be next to impossible with an ex-spouse that you share children with, but there are things that you can do to limit contact.  We won’t bore you with all the detail here but we are happy to chat privately about it with anyone who is interested.  The critically important element is not to engage in nonsense and only interact when necessary.  Don’t get drawn into fights.

As Christ followers, we know that the devil is after us.  We know that the devil truly hates that we got married and are growing a family together.  We know the devil despises the fact that we are trying to help others build strong, resilient marriages.  And we know that the devil uses people to pierce us where it hurts most.  John 10:10

Just knowing that doesn’t always help.  But, now that we have strengthened ourselves, we are moving beyond surviving and we are using our experiences to thrive.  This difficult season has helped us come together, understand each other and love even more.  We are very thankful for that blessing and that season.  And we hope you can gain some peace working through this too.

By the way, even if you aren’t being attacked, it is always good to practice the first 3 points above in an effort to get closer to your spouse.  You can never be close enough!

 

Cruisin’ For Closeness

For almost two years we’ve been blending a family.

Trying to get 4 very different kids to develop relationships together is harder than it looks. Unless you think it looks hard – then it’s exactly how it looks!

However, with last year’s vacation we felt we had a breakthrough because there were times when all 4 kids played together – more than we expected.

Then there were other moments like that throughout the year too.

So as we prepared for our second family vacation together we had high expectations that the kids would grow even closer together.

But to our disappointment, our expectations were not met.

Did they have some close times together? Yes. And that was important.img_2757.jpg

Continue reading “Cruisin’ For Closeness”

Don’t Forget The Storm

We follow so many friends and family on social media and what do we notice most?

Flattering pictures and glowing comments about our lives:  My wife is amazing!  My husband is a gift from God!  My son just came in second place in the long jump!  My daughter made the honor roll!

Please understand, we aren’t knocking social media – we love it as much as the next person.  However, with EVERY success there is a struggle.  And the struggle is often the most important part of the story!

We just had one of the most wonderful weekends of our marriage.  And we posted about it on Facebook!  But is that the most important piece of our story from the weekend? No.

We have had a very difficult 20 months of marriage, Continue reading “Don’t Forget The Storm”

It IS A Good Friday!

What is “Good Friday” to you?  Good Health?  Good Weekend?  Good Job?  Good Family?  Good Marriage?  Good Kids?  Good Future?  Well if it isn’t it can be!

For Christians and followers of Jesus Christ, it is one of the most important days of the year.  It is the day Jesus was crucified and died on the cross.  And he did that to save us from our sins – which we struggle with daily.

We’ll be the first to tell you that we face down sin every single day!  Whew!  Some days are a LOT harder than others.  But we know that Jesus suffered so that we don’t have to.

For those who don’t follow Jesus Christ, GOOD Friday can be GOOD for plenty of reasons! You can celebrate your blessings and successes with family and friends! And you can be proud to show your love for your spouse and others because it is a GOOD Friday!

And if you are struggling in any area of life, today can be a GOOD Friday to start looking at things a different way!  You are breathing air into your lungs.  You have friends or family somewhere around.  Today can be the day you start looking at the glass half FULL!

Your relationship is broken?  Continue reading “It IS A Good Friday!”

Hooky For Adults

Doesn’t everyone love the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?  It was a huge hit in 1986 and it seems like people talked about it for at least a decade after.  Young kids may not know about it today – but you can bet they will watch it sometime in their lives!

The movie is a classic about a kid in high school who went to amazing extremes just to skip school and enjoy the day with his friends.  If you haven’t seen it – rent it!

We are NOT writing this to suggest that kids play hooky in an effort to skip school to enjoy the day with friends.

However, we ARE writing this to suggest – if you and your spouse haven’t recently spent some quality time alone – that you play hooky from work!  Because – rather than the movie’s slogan “Leisure Rules”, we believe that “Love Rules” and it needs to be acted on – even if it means skipping work together!

Earlier this year, we desperately needed some time to ourselves so we escaped to the mountains up north and did basically nothing but be together – on a MONDAY!  We relaxed in front of a wood fireplace, stayed in our pajamas, fell asleep on the couch, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery outside.

Screenshot 2019-04-15 10.55.42

Continue reading “Hooky For Adults”

MARRIED STRONG!

FRIENDS!  This is a quick update.

So much has happened for us since we launched our blog “Remarried Forever”.

WOW!  Marriage is hard…and REmarriage is even harder!  At least it is from our perspective.  But marriage is a BLESSING every day!

As we have become more active in the marriage arena we are encountering and lovingly interacting with couples of every stripe: newlyweds, veteran married couples, remarrieds, and even engaged couples.

We know that ALL marriages need support and we don’t want to limit our reach as we seek to share, experience, and help married couples.

So today we are retitling our blog:

MARRIED STRONG!

We will always have a special affinity with couples who have remarried, and those blending a family as we are doing, but we want to celebrate and walk along side all married couples.  We will continue to have material that will likely favor remarried and blended families – but hopefully it will all be helpful and fun!

We look forward to being in touch.  And we are excited to be a resource to make ALL marriages STRONG!

 

LIVE from the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry

As you know, we made a commitment to try to help others who are remarried, blending families, and going through the ups and downs of marriage in a different way than the traditional first time marriage struggles, by sharing our experiences, being transparent and open to anyone in need.

So we decided to fly to Little Rock and attend the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry, which is dedicated to teaching people the best ways to help people like us who are remarried and living in blended families.

Let us say up front that many of these lessons are applicable to all marriages in one form or another, but stepfamilies do have many unique issues: ex-spouses and stepchildren being the two biggest.

Here are a couple of quick first takes: Continue reading “LIVE from the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry”

Do you have a ‘beam’ in your eye?

Let’s face it friends – those of us who have gone through divorce and remarriage are dealing with, or have dealt with, someone in their life who creates hurt.

Pastor Ben at Cape Cod Church said it best: “Every story has a hurt, a villain we can point to as a source of pain”.

What happens when we have a villain? What happens when there is someone who causes hurt to your marriage or your family? The hurt that is created can overwhelm us, twist our lives around, and distract us from what is most important. Continue reading “Do you have a ‘beam’ in your eye?”

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