Man watering grass

The Joys of Marriage Maintenance

Marriage Dynamics Institute Commitment, Communication, Conflict, Connection, Contentment, Date Night, Gratitude, Intimacy, Marriage Health, Reconnecting Leave a Comment

If you are a home owner, you know about maintenance. Unless your house is newly constructed, and sometimes even if it is, something always needs repair. Or a little touch of paint.  Or a battery in the smoke detector. Or….whatever. And spring cleaning is a thing becauses houses get dirty. Once a year or so they need a good going-over …

Are you Phubbing Me?

Marriage Dynamics Institute Commitment, Communication, Connection, Intimacy, Listening, Quality Time, Time Management Leave a Comment

“What is phubbing?” you ask. Great question. Hold that thought. Now picture this. You are enjoying coffee with a friend and having a great conversation. Then you hear buzzing. And without saying a word your friend glances at their phone. Their expression changes and maybe they mumble “just a minute” and quickly type a text message. Then your friend sighs, …

Couple talking

Hallmark or Havoc? Four Guidelines for a Post Holiday Checkup

Melody Morris Christmas, Communication, Conflict, Connection, Holidays, Listening, Quality Time Leave a Comment

Christmas is one of the most romantic times of year. At least that’s how it appears on Hallmark holiday movies and all the recent knock-offs. The plots are similar. Key characters are lonely. But there is a prospect for romance, either new or rekindled. Then some great challenge threatens to end the would-be couple’s relationship. But in the course of …

couple hoding hands at Christmas

Improve your Connection this Christmas

Marriage Dynamics Institute Christmas, Communication, Connection, Date Night, Holidays, Marriage Health, Quality Time, Romance Leave a Comment

Are you ready for Christmas?  Gifts bought? Wrapping done? Packages in the mail? It may seem like this extraordinary year has dragged on and on, and yet in other ways it has flown by. And now Christmas is almost here again. This season is all about connection. Because God connected with us in human form when he sent Jesus. And …

time-out

Time-Out: Not Just for Teams and Toddlers!

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Conflict, Connection Leave a Comment

When was the last time you called time-out? Perhaps your team needed to regroup before a big play. Or your toddler refused to follow directions. Are there times when conversation with your spouse starts as a discussion but turns into a heated argument? Maybe you found yourself thinking. “Somebody needs to call time-out.” Relationship expert John Gottman suggests how a …

Unhappy couple considers options for marriage help

Marriage Counseling or Marriage Intensive?

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Connection, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Health, Marriage Intensive, Reconnecting Leave a Comment

When your marriage isn’t going well, should you look for marriage counseling? Or is it better to find a good marriage intensive, like a weekend marriage retreat? According to one veteran marriage therapist, both approaches serve useful purposes. But a marriage intensive can help speed up the counseling process. I tell my clients a marriage intensive will often allow them …

Offended? Forgiveness brings freedom.

Offended? Try These 5 Steps to Forgiveness

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Conflict, Connection, Criticism, Faith, Forgiveness, Hope, Humility, Intimacy, Marriage Health, Reconnecting, When Life is Difficult Leave a Comment

Question: How do you respond when you feel offended? Do you assume the worst and turn the offense over and over and in your mind, replaying the incident and reliving the hurt? Do you catalogue other offenses committed by the person in question, adding fuel to your resentment? Maintaining healthy relationships requires a willingness to forgive when we are offended. …

A single rose blooming serves as a reminder to hold on tight to the one you love.

Hold on Tight to Each Other

Melody Morris Commitment, Communication, Connection, Loss, When Life is Difficult Leave a Comment

My husband and I were taking our evening stroll. We like to walk and talk and hold hands. Because we are relatively new to the neighborhood, these daily walks provide opportunities to chat and get to know people better. And since Ken is in the process of tidying up the landscaping around our home, so he enjoys discovering which varieties …

Just do the next right thing

Do the Next Right Thing: Good Advice When Life is Difficult

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Conflict, Connection, When Life is Difficult Leave a Comment

  Do the right thing, and then do the next right thing, and that will lead you to the next right thing after that.     -Michael J. Fox This advice comes from a beloved American actor waging a very public battle with Parkinson’s disease. Versions of this quote are credited to a variety of coaches, speakers and authors from C.S. …

Pandemic and the Unexpected Gift

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Gifts, Quality Time, Reconnecting, When Life is Difficult Leave a Comment

Pandemic.  At the risk of stating the obvious, we are living through unusual days. No matter what part of the country you are in, if you listen to or read any news at all, you are aware that the world is more than a little chaotic right now. At the very least, there is much uncertainty. And no one really …