When Forgiveness is Demanded

“If you had a perfect excuse, you would not need forgiveness; if the whole of your actions needs forgiveness, then there was no excuse for it”- C.S Lewis, Essay on Forgiveness. I can’t tell you how many times I hear, “You just won’t forgive me!  Why won’t you just forgive me? We aren’t moving on or healing because you won’t let it go!” Truth is, your spouse’s forgiveness isn’t the linchpin of reconciliation.  Your changed behavior is. And your changed behavior doesn’t depend on whether or not you’ve been forgiven. Most the time when I have a client who is
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Freedom to be Yourself in Your Marriage

Do you know “who you are”? Have you thought about how that affects your relationships? You don’t have to follow us for very long to hear us talk about living from your core. This is the concept of being grounded in how you think about yourself, your sense of self-efficacy, and how you view the world around you. Your core incorporates your faith, your values, your perceived purpose and direction, and your hopes and dreams. It makes up the foundation of what you have to offer the world and provides the ability to speak your voice and live authentically. Within
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Intervention – An Opportunity for Breakthrough

Anne had tried for years to get Larry to stop his angry outbursts toward her and the kids.  She never knew when or what would set him off, and she felt constantly on alert, ready to shield herself from the noise and the hot breath on her face.  He seemed entitled to vent his frustrations without any responsibility for how it affected the people around him.  What made it feel worse to Anne was that he also carelessly expected her to be physically intimate with him, even if he had stomped and banged around the house moments before.  His sense
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Healthy Expectations for the Healing Process

Counseling can be a bit like surgery—most people don’t seek out the help of a counselor until they’re desperate or facing an emergency. No one comes to counseling when things are running smoothly, but rather, when the pain has reached such a high level that they can no longer tolerate it. Like surgery, the counselor isn’t there to wave a magic wand over it all and make the mess go away. Surgery is painful and the rehabilitation after can take time, but most people want the fix without the work of changing. “Will my spouse change?” That’s the biggest question,
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When You Feel Alone

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” -C.S.Lewis Anna used to be outgoing and friendly.  She was bubbly and almost always had a smile on her face.  Nothing about her seemed fake or hidden, and she had lots of friends.  That was before she got married.  Not too many years into her marriage, the smile began to fade, and her relationships became more shallow.  She couldn’t remember exactly when she’d lost her joy. It seemed to have been taken away one little piece at a
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When Joy Feels Hard to Find at Christmas

Christmas is almost here, which means you are almost through one of the hardest seasons in which to manage your emotions. With “Joy!” and “Peace!” ringing in the air and forced-family-fun-times which are really anything but, the pain of your fractured relationships can be magnified. It is much more common to feel lonely, left out, and forgotten than it is to be belting out “Joy to the World” in your shower. The pain, the disappointments, and the bad memories are all very real. Your childhood delight in Christmas, if you ever had it, was jaded a long time ago. And it never
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Connection is Not Chemistry

You know that adage “You never miss what you never had”? Even within the context of relationships, that’s true. If you’ve never had a good relationship, you don’t know what to look for, and when you’re treated poorly, you don’t realize it. Because you don’t know what you’re missing, you have no context to include, or protect, the elements that make a marriage great. Think about this: You wouldn’t say that swimming in a kiddie pool was real swimming. But, if that’s all you’d ever known, when you heard people talking about swimming, that’s what you’d picture. You would have
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A New Year, A New Start

The post-holiday transition to “real life” tends to inspire the motivation to create some new habits and undo some bad ones. The let-down also highlights the places we’d like a total overhaul – like in our marriage. But, starting over in your marriage can feel overwhelming, if not absolutely impossible. Our tendency is to feel stuck in a rut because that’s just the way it’s always been. Or to feel stuck because no matter what you do, it seems like you’re beating your head against a wall. It helps to reframe the context, to change your focus from what has
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