Here’s A Question: What Is Marriage?

Ask that question and everyone will have a different marriage:

“Marrying your best friend”

“Living life with your soulmate”

“Not being able to live without your partner”

We just finished the Love & Respect video series and cannot even begin to tell you how much we learned about marriage, relationships, men and women, and most importantly the role of God in our marriage.

As we all know, dealing with conflict in marriage is the 800 pound gorilla.  Continue reading “Here’s A Question: What Is Marriage?”

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A Text or Two a Day

For us middle aged folk, we might be able to learn something from the younger crowd  with respect to technology and relationships.

Regardless of your age, how often do you communicate with your spouse during the day?  One time – two times – NO times?

Would you believe that, according to Pew Research, 85% of young people expect to hear from their partner at least once a day.  35% expect to hear every few hours!  Thankfully only 11% expect it every hour.  Phew…

Another interesting stat among the 18-25 year old crowd Continue reading “A Text or Two a Day”

50th Anniversary!

As we sit here at the 50th anniversary of the New Hampshire Special Olympics Summer Games – it gives us great perspective on life.

In marriage, so many of our challenges come from being two different people with opposing viewpoints.

Here, we are watching a community of Special Olympics athletes who have intellectual and/or physical challenges because they were either born with them or had some event that caused their disability.

Michael’s son, Liam, was born with Down syndrome. For those who don’t know, Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, moderate intellectual disability and characteristic facial features. Continue reading “50th Anniversary!”

Remember The Newlywed Game?

How many of you remember this game show?  If you’re from a younger generation, probably not so much.  But our generation witnessed it’s second release in the late 80’s and there was a third release in the mid 90’s after a very successful initial period from 1966-1974.

By the way, if you want to laugh – go to youtube and watch some funny moments from the old Newlywed Game.  There are some hilarious ones there.  Remember the term: “makin’ whoopee”?

Anyway, the purpose of the show is based on how well newlyweds know each other.  However, a few times Bob Eubanks opened the show with a letter from a viewer who said they have been married 10 years, ask themselves the same questions and only get 20% right.  That led to a game with “old-timers”. Continue reading “Remember The Newlywed Game?”

“I’m Sorry.”

Two words never have had such a significant impact and meaning to your spouse.  And we cannot overestimate that importance!

We’re going to keep this one pretty short.  It has been something the two of us have learned so much about in our first two years of marriage.

You may have heard the line made famous from the 1970’s movie Love Story: “Love means you never have to say you’re sorry.”  That is absolutely wrong! 

Love means saying you’re sorry and being genuine about it.

Misunderstanding and hurt is inevitable in marriage.  So saying you’re sorry is one of the most simple things you can do to help your relationship.

A quick three things:

  1. Saying your sorry means you recognize your behavior has an impact on those around you.
  2. Saying your sorry avoids the cycle of fighting about who is right.
  3. Saying your sorry builds trust and mutual respect.

We try to remember this.  Of course, like everyone, we fail but we are constantly learning and striving to be better to each other.

As simple as this issue is, we may be back to expand on it later because it is so important to a marriage.

Have a great weekend!

 

What language are you speaking?

Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages? Before we read the book and watched the video series, we had heard about it but didn’t know much detail.

You’ll be surprised to know that it’s really a pretty simple and easy to understand formula for marital harmony. We have found it to be extremely helpful in understanding what our spouse needs and possibly even when they need it.

In a nutshell, according to Gary Chapman there are 5 Love Languages:

  1. Acts of Service – Doing things for our spouse like chores or cooking dinner.
  2. Quality Time – Focusing all your energy on your spouse.
  3. Words of Affirmation – Verbal appreciation and compliments.
  4. Receiving Gifts – Visual symbols of love.
  5. Physical Touch – Physical contact like holding hands, usually not sexual.

Continue reading “What language are you speaking?”

Mike and Carol Brady had it right

We know, we know.  It’s just television and it wasn’t real.  BUT!  Mike and Carol Brady modeled some great behavior for us married folk!  And who doesn’t love the clothes, house and decor from the 70s? (NOTE: Michael Dennehy is a 1970s freak)

As you may know, we are both remarried and blending a family together.  Thinking way back to 1969 when The Brady Bunch first aired is a pretty remarkable storyline.  A couple remarrying, each having three kids and blending a family was not something that was very common.

Now, of course, we know firsthand that blending a family is not nearly as easy as it is on The Brady Bunch.  No one is screaming – “you’re not my real Dad!”, or “my real Mom would do it that way!”  However, it is pretty much understood that both of the Brady’s first spouses passed away which made it easier to blend 6 kids together when they only have Mr. and Mrs. Brady and the kids live together full-time.  But, still hard to believe it can ever be that easy!

Let’s get to what is realistic in the show and is a great modeling for marriages and families. Continue reading “Mike and Carol Brady had it right”

1-2-3…STOP!

The Crazy Cycle.  It can start at any moment without a single warning.

What is the crazy cycle?  We have been watching a video series called Love & Respect and according to Emerson Eggerichs, the crazy cycle is the time when we react negatively to each other.  When she feels unloved, she reacts without respect.  When he feels disrespected, he reacts without love.

This crazy cycle will continue until you both stomp your feet in utter anger and leave the room.  OR…one of you puts a stop to it because you are now consciously aware of what is happening.

The crazy cycle hit us just the other day.  One overreaction struck and we continued to  respond to the other negatively.  Continue reading “1-2-3…STOP!”

Let’s Talk Money!

You may have heard this before.  The number one issue that couples fight about isn’t sex, kids, or the in-laws.  The big issue?  MOOOOOOLA!  BACON!  CABBAGE!  GREENBACKS!  In other words – HOW ARE WE PAYING THE BILLS?  We were surprised to learn this was the top issue of conflict.

We are leaving the stressful month of April which includes annual tax filing and school vacation.  This can be a difficult time for marriages and families. One, many people have to pay to prepare their taxes.  Two, many people have to pay taxes on top of what they have already paid throughout the year.  And let’s face it – there is a never a good time to have to pay taxes!  Three, vacation spending can add to the financial anxiety.

As is the case with most couples, one spouse manages the money and the other spouse tends to spend the money.  Sometimes, one spouse won’t event talk about, think about, or breathe a word about money.

So let’s say you both approach money from different perspectives.  And let’s say it’s a problem – you are spending more money than you are making.  Credit card debt is rising.  Home equity line is increasing (guilty).  You and your spouse aren’t seeing eye to eye.

First order of business – a budget!  Below is our basic budget template.  Continue reading “Let’s Talk Money!”

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