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4 Insights When Your Spouse Irritates You

Recently, my wife, Susan and I had one of those conflicts where we started talking about one thing, but ended up listing everything that we sometimes find irritating about each other.  All of it could have been avoided if we just remembered some important facts. First, we are equal opportunity agitators.  We both do things that annoy each other, and we need to step back and look at ourselves first. Second, it’s...
Sep 23, 2021 / Communication

4 Ways to Fight Fair

Conflict tends to bring out the worst in people.  They can all too easily become aggressive, insulting, and hurting—leaving wounds on their family members for a long time to come.  So how can you fight fair?  Here are a few ways for your family to fight fair.  First, know when to take a break.  When things start escalating, sometimes it’s best to take a short break and walk away from the situation to calm down. ...
Aug 27, 2021 / Communication

5 Things I’ve Learned About Communicating with My Wife

It amazes me how much I’m still learning each day.  Just when I think I’ve made some great progress, I mess up and realize I’m still far from being the kind of  husband I want to be.  But after 25 years of marriage to my wife Susan, I’ve discovered a thing or two about how to communicate well.  So here’s what I’ve learned about communicating with my wife.  First, communicate gently.  Because I’m a “recovering”...
Aug 25, 2021 / Communication

Are You Being Curt or Courteous with Your Spouse?

Words matter.  I choose them carefully and look for the right words for the situation. But I’ve learned there’s a fine line between being curt and courteous. How we say the words is as important as what we say.  There are three things we need to remember about communicating with our spouse that make all the difference.  First, the way we use our body can change an innocent comment into the start of something bad. ...
Aug 10, 2021 / Communication

5 Types of Powerful Words for Your Marriage

We all know how powerful words can be.  They have the power to poison and even kill a relationship.  But they also have the power to build up and breathe life into a relationship.  Here are 5 types of words that can help breathe life into your marriage.  First, respectful words.  Choosing to use respectful words with your spouse means choosing to honor them—not undermine them.  Second, affirming words.  No matter...
Jul 06, 2021 / Communication

How to Talk through Tough Topics with Your Spouse

My wife, Susan, and I have different styles of communication. So, to help us, we use what’s called the speaker/listener technique. Here’s how the speaker/listener technique works. The speaker holds a pen or some other object to show they have the floor. The speaker then makes a short statement or point. After the speaker makes their first point, the listener repeats it back or paraphrases what they heard so that...
May 03, 2021 / Communication

Printable Letters for Your Spouse

In a letter… that’s right… a letter.  When you write something out, you usually give it more thought, and are more careful with the words you put on paper.  Your spouse will probably receive it better as well, since they can read it over and then think about it privately… and you won’t be there to argue with!  So when I want to address a sensitive subject with my wife… something she said that might have offended...
Apr 21, 2021 / Communication

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The Family Minute is a daily radio feature that offers everyday advice on marriage, parenting, and family relationships.

Mark Merrill

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