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5 "Do-Over" Rules in Marriage

We’ve all seen it before.  We say something to our spouse and, immediately, we can see their face starting to turn red with rage. Well, if you realize you’ve offended your spouse, or have been misinterpreted, you can ask for a “do-over,” where you rephrase the statement so that it’s kinder and clearer. First, when you see your spouse bristling, stop the conversation immediately.  Second, ask for the do over with...
Jan 18, 2018 / Communication

What are the Five Love Languages?

When you try to convey love to your spouse, does the message get through clearly, or is it lost in translation?  You see, we’re all different.  What I consider a loving gesture—a nice gift—might not mean anything to my wife… not because she’s unappreciative, but because there’s something else that makes her feel loved…like when I tell her I appreciate her sacrifices for our family.  Dr. Gary Chapman says there are...
Jan 09, 2018 / Communication

9 C's That Can Kill a Marriage

My wife, Susan and I have been so happy to see friends who have had long-lasting marriages but have been saddened as well by marriages that seemed great but came to a shocking end. In a marriage failure, there are usually one or more marriage killers that are constantly present. For example, one marriage killer is comparison. One spouse might often say things like, “Why can’t you be more like her?” Or, “Why can’t...
Oct 18, 2017 / Communication

When My Spouse Wants Me to Change

You need to be accepted by your spouse, warts and all, just as you are. But not every change your spouse desires is an attack on you or your personality. So, instead of just ignoring them or bowing up to them, start by asking…  “On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being really, really important to you, how important is it to you that I change this action or behavior?” Then, focus on those 8’s, 9’s and 10’s…and put the...
Oct 05, 2017 / Communication

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 22, 2017 / 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 28, 2017 / 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 24, 2017 / 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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