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Three Ps to Help You Focus

There is no shortage of distractions (legitimate or otherwise) vying for our attention. There’s a pretty good chance, in fact, that you won’t read this article straight through because you’ll be interrupted by a text or a child or a fleeting thought. If you’re at...

Dealing with Holiday Stress

My daughters were born on Halloween and New Year’s Day. That means that nearly all of our family “holidays” are crammed into about a 45 day window. I’d like to think that, somehow, my holidays are more stressful than yours. But that’s not really true. The Holidays...

The One Question to Ask Before Your Wedding

The early part of a relationship is filled with questions: What’s your favorite movie? Where did you grow up? What makes you good at your job? If the relationship is going well, you may graduate to more profound questions: What are your dreams? What are your fears?...

Why Pre-Marital Counseling?

About 2.6 million couples will marry in the U.S. this year. About 45% of those couples will participate in pre-marriage counseling. Seems like a good idea. Some research suggests that couples who seek counseling before their wedding report a 30% higher marital success...

STRESS: Where does it come from?

What is stressing you out? Work? Family? Money? All of these? Maybe your football team is stressing you out. Or your car. Maybe it’s that relationship ghost that’s been haunting you for the last 10 years. Or your addiction. Or the decision you have to make by the end...

Navigating Seasons

One of my favorite definitions of marriage is “moving through life together”. This journey is really just moving through a series of phases or seasons. More often than not, these phases are laid overtop of one another and you may even be in many concentric phases at...

E is for Empathy

I am more and more convinced that empathy is the key to healthy relationships. Empathy is why individual counseling and marriage therapy can be so effective. Your therapist is trained to listen to the voice of your heart and understand what’s at the root of your...

3 Elements of a Healthy Apology

When I was in the 10th grade, I used to intentionally antagonize my French teacher. I would hide her chalk and her coffee mug.  I’d ask to go to the bathroom in Spanish. I’d “forget” that my assigned seat was in the front row right next to her desk. I was a real...

Be Redirected

In the Christian New Testament there is a story that takes place not long after Jesus’s crucifixion. It’s a scene where Peter and his friends have been out all night working hard fishing without catching a thing. Just days before, they had witnessed the traumatic...

Redesign, renovate, or remodel?

Getting Your “Relationship House” in Order Sometimes it’s helpful to consider marriage like a home improvement show on HGTV. Over time, a marriage may need a fresh coat of paint and some new pillows, other times there is a lot more happening that needs...

Response-Ability

Last month we considered Three Re’s of Successful Couplehood. Success was tied to both responsibility and resistance, two concepts relevant to anyone committed to personal growth and maturity, whether you’re part of a couple or not. Imagine a relationship that is...

Re-pair: The Key to Healthy Relationships

Imagine you’re skiing. Your skis are in parallel, until they aren’t. They start to drift a little, either from snow conditions or fatigue or lack of experience. You need to make tiny corrections to help you stay upright. Sometimes you hit a major bump and one ski...

3 Re’s of Successful Couplehood

All couples have ups and downs. Conflict is inevitable and in fact, roughly ⅔ of relationship conflict is considered unsolvable. It makes sense then that couples need to periodically renew their relationships. Couplehood only works when each partner is committed to...

Re-solve Again

It’s only February and I’ve failed at my News Year’s resolutions. February is the new January. At least that’s what I always say. So if your New Year’s resolutions have gone down the drain, don’t sweat it. January 1st is an arbitrary date that we’ve...