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 …

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 …

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 …

A Thanksgiving Love Letter

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Gifts, Gratitude, Holidays, Romance Leave a Comment

How long has it been since you’ve written a love letter to your spouse?  We found this sweet letter from a wife to her husband, and it inspired us. Because there’s something about an actual old-fashioned letter that is undeniably romantic—even when it’s written on a computer. In an age when too much communication comes in the form of a …

Surviving the Empty Nest

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Conflict, Connection, Empty Nest, Reconnecting Leave a Comment

The eighteen years or so that a child is at home are filled with all kinds of activity, and a wide range of emotions. And when that child leaves home—for college, or the military, to move into their own apartment or get married—the house may seem incredibly empty. If weekends have been filled with sporting events, dance competitions, youth group …

Couple talking - know your spouse

Communication: You Can’t Have a Great Marriage Without It

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Connection, Intimacy, Marriage Health Leave a Comment

You can stay married – maybe even for a long time. You can raise happy, healthy children. And your life may appear successful. Others may see you and want what you have. But you know the truth. At home when all the kids are in bed—or grown and gone—and it’s just you and your spouse… are you lonely? Many couples …

The Gift of a Strong Marriage (Part 1) — Fulfillment

Marriage Dynamics Institute Commitment, Communication, Contentment, Intimacy, Listening, Marriage Health, Patience, Quality Time, Selfishness Leave a Comment

People get married for lots of reasons. But according to a telephone survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the number one reason people marry is love. Shocker. Reasons two and three are also unremarkable. People marry because they want to make a lifelong commitment. And they marry for companionship. No surprises there. Human beings are created in the image …

Is Criticism Getting in the Way of Intimacy in Your Marriage?

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Conflict, Criticism, Goals, Intimacy, Listening, Romance Leave a Comment

No marriage is perfect. And if we are honest, sometimes we all wish our spouse would speak or behave differently. In a healthy relationship, a husband and wife can communicate these irritations or frustrations in ways that don’t tear each other down. When there is mutual love and respect, such conversations can bring about positive results. By comparison, when spouses …

One Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Marriage Right Now

Melody Morris Communication, Marriage Health, Quality Time, Reconnecting Leave a Comment

Recently I flew to visit my mother and took advantage of free on board wi-fi to catch up on emails. My husband was traveling in Africa, and we connected by Face Time just long enough for me to tell him I was on a plane and would try to reach him later. I looked at my phone, and felt incredibly …