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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 01, 2017 / Communication

Assertive Communication: How to Have Healthy Conversations with Your Spouse

We all have different ways of communicating that reflect our personalities. But healthy communication exists best when spouses are both developing the skill of assertive communication. An assertive spouse develops a clear understanding of what their spouse feels, thinks and wants. They work on dealing directly, honestly, and, most importantly, respectfully with their spouse. For example, during a financial...
Sep 24, 2015 / Communication

Communication Expectations

Many of us expect our spouse to “just know” what we are thinking or feeling.  After years with each other, we begin to expect our spouse to know we’ve had a bad day, that we’re tired, or that we want affection.  They “should just know,” right?  Well, that’s not realistic!  Years of experience make it easier to predict your spouse’s response, but it’s no substitute for communication.  If you want your spouse to...
Aug 21, 2015 / Communication

6 Ways to Grow Oneness in Marriage

In a merger, two groups contract to join forces within a certain period of time. In a marriage, two people covenant to become one—and that's a lifelong process.  It doesn't just happen in deep discussions and major moments, great as those times may be.  It also occurs in the small, daily things of life when you are intentional about growing together with your spouse. Whether it's cooking together, exercising...
Aug 17, 2015 / Communication

What Every Husband and Wife Must Agree On

We’ve all heard the saying: Let’s Agree to Disagree.  But when it comes to a healthy marriage, there are certain things couples MUST agree on.  First, you must agree on when and how to discipline your kids.  That means you must be unified and consistent when disciplining your children. Always remember that you and your spouse are supposed to be on the same team. Second, you must agree on how to handle money.  Be...
Aug 11, 2015 / Communication

How to Agreeably Disagree with Your Spouse

Every marriage is full of tough decisions that sometimes lead couples to disagree. But you can disagree in a kind and loving way. So here are 3 agreeable ways to disagree with your spouse. First, disagree with affirmation. Start off well by validating their position and by finding common ground with your spouse. Second, disagree with kindness. Disagreements are much more effective when each spouse agrees to use...
Jul 07, 2015 / Communication

Why Couples Remember Things Differently

For many couples, conflict occurs because they remember things differently. Sometimes the actual details are clear-cut, and a cool review and discussion will sort things out. But often it's just that men and women simply remember things differently because their brains are wired differently. It's why men are often single-minded and women can more easily multitask. When dealing with an important issue you each...
Jul 02, 2015 / Communication

FAMILY FIRST PROGRAMS

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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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