Finding Sanity in the Age of COVID-19

You may never have looked at it this way, but relationships have personalities, just like people do. Some are calm, durable, steady, and comfortable; others are fiery and full of ups and downs. Some marriages contain partners who are joined at the hip and who live most of their lives in each other’s company, perhaps even managing to work together as well as live together. Others function better with more time apart, where each person pursues individual interests while still being able to come together over shared enjoyments. When you take the personality of the marriage and combine it with
Continue Reading

How Strong is Your Foundation?

One of the primary themes at the Marriage Recovery Center is the concept of “Healing Together”. This philosophy refers to the concept that a marriage can only heal if both individuals do their part in the process. We frequently ask husbands and wives to do individual work in addition to the growing they do together. Men, this one is for you!
Continue Reading

The Attack on Marriage in the Fall of Eden

Directly after sinning against God by entertaining and agreeing with Satan’s accusation against Him, Adam and Eve got straight on to sinning against one another and against their marriage. The result has echoed throughout the ages. There is a principle in scripture that the older and more original a thing is, the more power it has. What this means for us is that the sin that Adam and Eve committed against one another and against their marriage tends to be a powerful stronghold present in many marriages today. Genesis 3: 9-12 records that as the snake engaged Eve in conversation,
Continue Reading

When Sleeping Dogs Won’t Lie

People often have anxiety about getting help for their marriages. That anxiety can have many sources. For example, concern about what others will think—will they assume our marriage is in trouble? Sometimes the anxiety is that talking about the marriage with someone else will stir up problems and “awaken sleeping dogs.” We tend to work hard at sweeping things under the rug, stuffing away our feelings and learning to live with the way things are. Looking at the truth of our feelings and relationships can be intimidating and frightening.
Continue Reading

To Be Told or Not to Be Told: Why We Use a Directive Counseling Approach

The majority of people who come to see me say they have been to multiple counselors, both personally and for their marriage, and that most of them have been less than helpful, if not harmful. I think there are two particular elements impacting the effectiveness of their previous counseling: 1) the dynamics of narcissistic and emotional abuse on the victim and the relationship are unrecognized, and 2) the ineffective use of non-directive approaches to address the issues.
Continue Reading

Is He Really Changing? Part 2

In part 1 of this blog (which you can read here), I wrote about the pressure some of you wives may feel to come up with the list of behaviors that your husband needs to change. I encouraged you to take inventory of where he’s gone wrong and what needs to change and share that list with him. When your husband steps up to the plate to take responsibility for his own behavior, he sets a much more effective stage for healing.
Continue Reading

Do I really need to win? 7 Rules of a Fair Fight

As a younger man I often heard things like “winning is not everything, It’s the only thing.” Who wants to lose? Many men seem to equate being gentle and patient with loss. But the truth is, self-promotion is loss, and lifting others up is winning. Many of the men who join our program, The Core, think they’re always right; everything is and should be as they see it. They will say things like, “A good wife, a Christian woman, should just submit.” They often feel they’re being controlled and respond by blaming their wives for forcing them to do something.
Continue Reading

Telling Him What Needs to Change: Part 1

Mary is a typical client. She has spent years looking for ways to better connect with her husband, Joe. She’s read numerous books and articles. She subscribes to relationship blogs and Facebook pages. She’s counseled with her pastor and consulted with her closest friends. She’s begged Joe to talk, to understand, to make her a priority and then behave like it. She’s prayed for hope and for God to change him. She has cried countless tears. And she is exhausted from trying to make the relationship different. Joe finally agrees to counseling, probably the result of a precipitating event in
Continue Reading

You Don’t Need to Process Your Anger with Your Partner

When we’re extremely angry, physiologically we’re not a whole lot different than a child throwing a tantrum. We’re literally not in our right mind. Blood has moved away from our pre-frontal cortex (the seat of conscious thought) and filled our amygdala, where the fight or flight response is triggered. We call this state being “flooded” or “triggered,” a term coined by Daniel Goleman in his bestselling book Emotional Intelligence. Basically, when you’re in fight or flight mode, you’re in no position to think or communicate logically.
Continue Reading