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Marriage: More than You Bargained For

This is based on a homily I recently delivered at my friends’ wedding. There’s a lot here to reflect on about marriage, how it changes us, and what it calls us to become. The Judeo-Christian marriage is much more than a legal union. It’s a spiritual joining that, in...

The Most Difficult Years of Marriage

I’ve been helping couples in the context of marriage counseling about a decade and half. In that time, I’ve noticed something: the prime number years of relationships are often the hardest  (i.e. 1, 3. 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29…) Often, it seems these years correspond...

Give Peace a Chance…In your Marriage

By Samuel Rainey I’m sure you’ve seen it in a movie, or on the news. Some country breaks the demilitarized zone (DMZ) with an aircraft or some other object. The other country interprets this as an act of war and promptly opens fire, destroying it before it has a...

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...

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...

The One Word You Shouldn’t Say in Your Marriage

We could probably think of a few words you shouldn’t say in your marriage (most of them fall into the name-calling category…), but one psychologist is saying there’s an everyday verb that shouldn’t be uttered at all—and we just used a variation of it twice in one...

Marriage at a 100-year low—and that’s a good thing

Brace yourselves for the latest evidence that Americans are fleeing the institution of marriage like Roger Sterling leaves wives. A report release Monday from Demographic Intelligence, which tracks marriage and birth trends in the United States, said marriage rates...

A Happy Marriage Can Save Your Life (Says Science)

Happiness and health go hand-in-hand (and it’s all thanks to your marriage) Healthy people aren’t just the happy ones—they’re now the ones committing to marriage. And if you thought that a significant other was more woe than it was worth, turns out you were...

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...