3 Things You Can Do to Prioritize Your Marriage Today

priority-01All marriages require work! Your marriage doesn’t reach perfection the moment you tie the knot, and your relationship won’t remain strong unless the two of you team up and make a commitment to work on it continuously. Life is busy, and it can be easy to let your marriage take the backseat when other people or deadlines seem pressing. In these situations, it is important to understand what it really means to make your relationship with your spouse a priority. Read More

On Gratitude: Three Lessons This Realist Needs to Learn

By: Taylor A. Moss, M.S., LMFTA, NIC

rain_coupleI am a realist. Often people describe us as glass-half-empty-people, but I say I describe the glass as it is. In actuality.

In my life this looks like a lot of direct communication, analysis, planning. I plan for what I think will happen, not what I hope will happen or fear might occur. If I am wrong I adjust my understanding of the situation and plan accordingly for next time.

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Complacency & Communication

When one goes up, the other goes down.

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If you Google “quotes about complacency”, you will see many different iterations of the same idea — complacency is the enemy. Companies get complacent, and they begin to lose customers to their competitors. Employees get complacent, and they are shocked when they are passed over for promotions or are let go altogether.

Complacency slowly corrodes the motivation, desire, and potential for progress, improvement, change, growth, and ultimately success. Apply that to relationships, and… yikes.

The scary thing about complacency in relationships is that, by nature, it silently takes root and eats away at intimacy. You don’t notice it lurking because hey, things are “fine.” You’re both just busy with work, and the kids, and your separate hobbies, and any number of other things. Why rock the boat? Then one day you find yourselves standing on opposite sides of a Grand Canyon-sized chasm, wondering, “How did we get here?” Read More

The Holy Trinity of Finances

How managing your finances is about more than being practical, it’s also about understanding and acknowledging the emotional and spiritual side of money … the “financial trinity” if you will.

By: Tim Schuster

Tim Schuster is a New Business Development Associate at brightpeak financial and Founder of MIDTOWN, a missional faith community in south Minneapolis.

brightpeak financial exists to help young Christians grow stronger financially so that they may live with confidence and generosity. It is a new division of Thrivent Financial, a faith-based, not-for-profit founded more than a century ago. Everything brightpeak does is aimed at helping families and communities thrive and become more resilient.

Money Is Practical
There is a rational and logical side to money. Money comes in. Money goes out. It adds up. Or it doesn’t. Whoever you are and whatever you do, your money comes down to simple dollars and cents on a piece of paper or computer screen. The main tool of the practical dimension of finances is a calculator. The upside of this dimension is that we can explain money clearly and concisely. The downside is that this represents only a one-dimensional view of finances. Read More

Forgiveness – Part 2: Seeking and Granting

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Whether you’ve been together for 5 years or 50, at some point in your relationship you will be faced with a situation that requires you to either seek or grant forgiveness. When we think of conscious forgiveness, we often associate it with a major betrayal such as infidelity or abuse. However, as Laura wrote about in the previous post, there are minor, every day lapses in thoughtfulness or judgement that require us to forgive our partner, albeit perhaps on a more subconscious level. Read More

Balancing “I” and “We” – Part 2

In the last post we talked about the importance of maintaining your own sense of identity and independence within your relationship and gave some tips for doing so. This post takes a look at the other side of this dynamic — when there is too much “I” and not enough “We.”

hands-437968_640When maintaining a sense of closeness is not a priority, intimacy atrophies. It can happen gradually. One day you wake up and suddenly realize you just feel so… far away… from your partner. How did that happen? And how do you get back that sense of “we”?

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Improving Your Marriage in 15 Minutes a Day

Guest Contributor: Marriage in a Box
(Destiny Girard, LMFT,  Maria Sappe, LMFT, & Brad Whiteman)

The Marriage In A Box system was designed by a licensed marriage and family therapist to be used in conjunction with couple’s therapy or in the privacy of the couple’s home. It is a unique and practical approach for working through the most common issues encountered in relationships. Together, couples can examine issues, set goals, track progress, and reinforce their successes – resulting in an improved relationship. Partners can customize a plan suited for their individual needs, with a variety of supportive tools and practices to address a range of concerns.

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Whoever said that marriage is easy and does not require work, must have never been married or in a committed relationship! All relationships, no matter how wonderful and fulfilling they are, require work from both partners on a regular basis. Making a relationship work, however, does not require extensive amounts of time and will look different for all couples.

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Arrows of Appreciation

When there is tension or conflict in a relationship, we are encouraged to speak using “I” statements—“I get worried when I don’t know you’re working late,” or “I wish we could make more of an effort to spend quality time alone.” “I” statements attribute responsibility to the speaker for his/her own perceptions and feelings.

“You” statements, such as, “You never let me know when you’re going to be home late,” or “You spend too much time with your friends,” can put the listener on the defensive from the start. In a way, a “you” statement is like shooting an arrow right at your partner. If it precedes negative, accusatory, or blaming words, they are going to feel the sting and likely react in just as prickly a manner. arrow Read More

Are you a (Personality) Backseat Driver?

backseat-driverDo you like your partner’s personality? That might sound like a ridiculous question to some people. “Of course I do!
Why would I be with him/her if I didn’t?” Please note that this is not the same as “do you love your partner?” You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that many people spend a lot of time trying to change aspects of his/her partner’s personality or secretly hope that one day their “annoying” traits will magically cease. Read More