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October 26, 2018
Weekly Parenting Tip

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #7: Trade Independence for Interdependence

We live in a world where independence is the perceived goal of almost everyone, and the hoped-for outcome of everything we do. But there is something better. Much better!

It is interdependence!

In an interdependent marriage or relationship, two people essentially trade their independence for something better. They learn that, through total commitment and genuine love, a certain synergy can develop where the total is greater than the sum of its parts. Within the confidence and security of their marriage, they each drop their facades and egos and allow a vulnerability and accept each other’s help. They compensate for each other’s weaknesses, complement each other’s strengths, and create a new entity of oneness without losing their separate individuality. They develop a wonderful, almost magical interdependence that combines synergy, symbiosis, and synchronicity.

For more detail and how-tos on interdependence:

Podcast Article

Painting by Brian Kershisnik

October 19, 2018
Weekly Parenting Tip

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #6: Implement The 5 C’s of a Great Marriage

In our four decades of working with families and observing all kinds of marriage situations, we have become convinced that there are five elements that maximize the chances for a marriage to be nourishing, loving, enduring and, yes, endlessly romantic. They are Commitment, Compatibility, Courtship, Chastity, and Celebration.

If they were put into an equation, they would look like this: C+C+C+C+C=MM (Maximized Marriage).

What we like about each of these five qualities is that they can all be worked on and progressively strengthened and improved. They also provide a good checklist or an evaluation framework for your marriage. Ask yourself the five questions: How am I doing on C and how could I do better? It’s a question that can be asked about each of the C’s over and over because there is no ceiling, no limit!

For additional ideas on how to improve on each:

Article Podcast Video

October 12, 2018
Weekly Parenting Tip

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #5: Discover, Promise, and Implement Total Commitment

Real, full-on, no-caveat, nothing-held-back marriage commitment brings with it life’s greatest security and well-being. Complete commitment can actually become a kind of magic. It is the magic of synergy–of a combination where the total is greater than the sum of its parts; where one plus one can equal more than two. Much more.

Cohabitation or marriages that start with some kind of conditional commitment—the “let’s see how it works out” variety—are fragile and undependable and far more likely to break up when the going gets tough. Instead of saying “Let’s see if we can get through some tough times and then make a full commitment” we should be saying (and understanding) that “it is the total commitment that will get us through the tough times!”

For more practical ideas and how-tos on this subject:

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October 5, 2018
Weekly Parenting Tip

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #4: Learn and Practice the Three Best Methods of Marital Conflict Resolution

Instead of worrying about disagreeing, worry about resolving differences positively. And instead of worrying if your children see you disagreeing (hopefully not violently or angrily), just be sure they also see you resolving things and making up.

There are three methods of marital conflict resolution that seem to always have a positive effect:

1. Rogerian Technique: Have a rule that you have to paraphrase back whatever your spouse has said to his or her satisfaction before you can make your own next point. This will force you to really listen to and understand each other.

2. “Go to the Balcony”. If an argument starts escalating, call a timeout and each of you take a little walk—go “to the balcony”—or go change clothes or do something else for 10 or 15 minutes to reset and get a bigger perspective, and then reconvene when you are both calmer and more collected.

3. Have a “Sunday Session” together each week where you review the past week, plan the next week, and “clear the air” on any bad feelings or unresolved differences from the past week.

For further insights and practical how-tos on this tip:

Article Video Podcast

Painting by Brian Kershisnik

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