8 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do

Last week, I saw a woman slam the car door in her husband’s face and storm off inside the grocery store. Then there was the couple sitting next to me, the man staring at his phone the entire time his wife shared with him her concerns about one of their children. I saw someone post a rant on Facebook about their spouse that ended with, “MEN!”Relationships are hard, and we’ve probably all done something similar to the examples above. But that doesn’t excuse the cavalier mistakes we sometimes allow for…

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Is The Gay Marriage Debate Over?

One could become wistful about the time in history when marriage was a settled affair, when everyone agreed on what it was, when no nation on the planet would have entertained the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage. But wistfulness is usually reserved for times long ago and places far away—not for a state of affairs that existed less than a decade ago.In December 2000, the Dutch parliament became the first to pass legislation that gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce, and adopt children. On April 1 of the…

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3 Ways Churches Can Bridge the “Marriage Divide”

With so much of the focus on the same-sex marriage debate, we American Christians sometimes forget the “other” marriage problem. Namely, there are fewer and fewer weddings in many segments of the population. And the impact is devastating.First, the good news: college-educated men and women have strong, stable marriages for the most part. Divorce rates continue to drop, and children from these marraiges usually grow up with both a mom and a dad. That gives these kids a big boost in terms of their faith, finances, life success, and health.However,…

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Money Changes Everything

All couples have disagreements about finances—what to save, how to spend. Research indicates that it’s more common for spouses to fight about money than about sex or in-laws. Daryl and Angela Dickhudt, of Bloomfield Township, Michigan, believe the statistics. In ten years of married life, finances have proved to be their biggest relationship hurdle. And, believe it or not, their troubles began after they became financially comfortable. Poor, but HappyNeither Daryl nor Angela was working when they married soon after graduating from Kalamazoo College. “We had this happy-go-lucky attitude,” Angela…

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Why Older Couples Divorce

More and more couples are splitting up as they grow older. In fact, a quarter of all divorces now involve those over 50. Reflecting this trend, the New York Times began a new feature on their Sunday Vows page called ‘Unhitched-Lessons Learned When It’s All Over’. Divorced couples are asked to look back at their life together, reflect on its unraveling, and try to understand why their marriage could not be saved.The trend is puzzling. Many people spend years looking forward to this season of life. They imagine the peace…

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Keeping Marriage Fresh

From the moment they say “I do,” newlyweds have two years to enjoy the special bliss that new love brings. This new finding, reported by the New York Times last month, is based on a study undertaken by American and European researchers who tracked 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years. After the two years, the couples moved into a more companionable state in their relationships.The study also reported that the research, completed in 2009 has been confirmed by recent studies as well. Although the excitement…

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How To Really Say, I Love You.

Over the past 15 years I’ve worked with couples at various stages in their marriages, from engaged couples preparing for marriage, to married couples disengaging from marriage, and all kinds of couples in between.  And I’d say beyond a doubt, one of the main ingredients of a good marriage is “how couples listen to each other.”Most couples tell me that their courting days were the best days of their lives. I think a main reason for that is because during their courtship they spent a lot of time listening to each other, and what they…

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