Listening, Sharing, Cheering, Dreaming and…Dying

Guys – Do you listen closely to your woman?  Or do you immediately jump to wanting to fix the issue she is having?

Women – Do you cheer your man on at work and in his recreational activities?  Or do you not think about it?

Guys – Do you share your feelings with your wife?  We can hear you laughing!  But seriously, the love of your life wants to know how and what you are feeling – at least occasionally!

Women – Do you talk to your husband about what his dreams are?  And encourage him in his dreams?  When he talks about his dreams do you react positively or just say “oh that’s interesting”?

We know that God made men to want to fix things and most men have to consciously go out of their way to just listen to their spouse.  Continue reading “Listening, Sharing, Cheering, Dreaming and…Dying”

Who Is In Your Church?

We read a quote and statistic today that was eye-catching to say the least!

40% of families in your church and community are blended families.

– FamilyLife

Yup – that’s us!  We are in the growing statistic of couples who got married, had kids, got divorced and then remarried.  And our kids are still under 18 so they are living with us part-time.

There was a time, which seemed not too long ago, when our churches and communities were mostly filled with the “traditional” family – meaning married once with kids.

But, as we all know, over the last couple of decades blended family living has been on the rapid increase.

In fact, approximately 33% of all weddings today will form step-families. Continue reading “Who Is In Your Church?”

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!

 

Pillow Talk

This is good.  First of all, who doesn’t love their pillow?  Second, adding the comfort of your pillow to the love of your spouse and you get a magical combination!  Unless, of course, you have a pillow problem – which we have had – but we’ll save that for another day.  Let’s assume for this post that everyone is comfortable with their pillow!

We have four kids between 10-17 who have tons of activities, and we each have our own careers.  There are days when finding time to connect are downright impossible!  Then we find ourselves falling asleep on the couch as we begin to wind down our day after the kids go to bed.

Now, we all know the importance of connecting with our spouse each day, and at a minimum, we should find 10-15 minutes to just talk one-on-one.  “Pillow talk” may be that one opportunity to connect so let’s dig in to this a little deeper.

This definition of “pillow talk” in the urban dictionary is perfect: for two people to enjoy each other’s presence through conversation, in a somewhat spontaneous way, but in a way that will let both parties go to bed with clear heads. Continue reading “Pillow Talk”

Remember this during the holiday weekend!

Like most couples, we struggle with the dreaded…cell phone addiction!  Generally, we are very good about eating meals, carving out time, and limiting electronic usage in our house.

But with crazy career schedules we do struggle at times.  While researching this topic we uncovered all kinds of fascinating information that fits nicely into our “Fun Fact Friday”.

Pew Research did a survey recently regarding cell phone usage.  A whopping, and not surprising, 92% of Americans own a cellphone.  31% of those Americans say they never turn their phone off and 45% of them say they rarely turn them off (we easily fall into this category).

Here’s the rather disturbing statistic: 80% of those surveyed say that using phones in social settings frequently or occasionally hurts the conversation.

Some fun stats: Continue reading “Remember this during the holiday 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?”

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”

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”

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