The Mirror in Your Marriage

Want to grow? Try marriage. No, seriously. Marriage is the absolutely best place to grow. I know some of you may think I’ve lost my mind. “Marriage,” you say, “is the last place I grow. It’s the place I cope, struggle, work to recover from.” I understand that. But let’s begin with a quiz. Just give the first answer that comes to your mind. Who knows you better than anyone else? Who has seen you at your absolute worst? Who knows your darkest secrets? Who knows your worst character traits? Who has the greatest power to help you heal from
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Changing Your Course with an Intervention

The couples that come to us for help have often landed in a random, dysfunctional, unhealthy place. Frequently, one of them believes the best hope for change is an intervention. They’re at their wits’ end, having repeated a million times in ineffective ways what they are unhappy about. But they’re also not yet ready to walk away from the relationship. If only their spouse could be awakened to the harm and pain and dysfunction! That’s the desperate plea behind the desire to do an intervention. And it’s true that an intervention can be effective in bringing such an awakening. It’s
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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