Do You and Your Spouse Complement Each Other?

Do you complement each other? When we spent the day with another couple recently, Mick and I thought how well they complement each other. They are very different in a lot of ways yet, each one is the same in that they support and complement each other and encourage them in the jobs they are doing. Consequently their marriage works well because they work as a team. What one doesn’t have in the way of skills, the other one supplies. When one is struggling and feeling down their spouse is there to lift them up and love them and encourage … Continue reading

Keep Your Focus

The other day I had a frightening experience. I’m not a confident person in the water, because I can’t swim well- only while my feet can touch bottom and I never put my face under water. The concept terrifies me. The beach we go to is usually calm, which is why we go there. But this day there were some largish waves. I was careful not to turn my back on them. Mick caught one of the waves into shore. In the process, he lost the cap he usually wears to protect his eyes from the sun. I turned to … Continue reading

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Marriage and Your Family

Someone recently asked in the forum about the responsibilities of fathers. I believe the best thing a man can do for his children is to love his wife and the best thing a woman can do is to love her husband. It is best for the children and also for each other that you show your spouse that you love them by your words and by your actions. Your spouse needs to know that they are the most important person in your life. Yes, the kids may be important and you want them to know how much you love them. … Continue reading

The Basic Tools of Marriage

Most of the time, when people enter into a marriage, they have no idea what they are in for. They focus so much energy on the ceremony itself or the idea of being married that they forget about actually being prepared for the marriage itself. Months or years later, things can change and start to break down. Fortunately, with the proper marriage tools, repairs can be made. So what are the basic tools of marriage? Well, love, certainly. Love is the bond that brings you together and can hold you together. When things get tough, you can rely on that … Continue reading

Gossip and Loyalty in Marriage

Two things recently started me thinking about gossip and loyalty in marriage. One was in the book ‘Take Joy’ by Jane Yolen where she talked of certain ’emotional core truths.’ She went on to mention some core truths about herself. One of these was ‘being loyal’ to those she loved. The other sign recently that tickled my fancy was this. ‘I never repeat gossip, so listen carefully the first time.’ But what has gossip got to do with marriage? Sadly, I thought it related closely to not being loyal to our spouse. Listening to guys talk at times, I hear … Continue reading

Overcoming a Crisis in Marriage

The statistics for a divorce after a crisis in your life are overwhelming. A crisis, whether it is an internal conflict such as infidelity or something outside of your control, such as a death in the family, this is the time when your marriage may be most vulnerable. Here is some advice on how you can survive the crisis and make your marriage even stronger. Someone once told me that a crisis in life is just like a hurricane. It is large, loud, very scary and can result in injury or death. I think this is a good comparison. Hurricanes … Continue reading

How to Get Your Marriage in Better Shape

You’ve heard the old adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ but how about,’a compliment a day keeps divorce away.’ Okay, maybe that’s a tad simplistic but the general principle, of making a habit each day of complimenting your spouse for something they have done or for some quality you love about them, is sound. E.g. I might say to Mick,‘I really appreciate the way you support me and come to events where I’m singing even though sometimes it’s boring.’ At the supermarket the other day a woman packing the bag jokingly said to me, ‘That’s for Muscles … Continue reading

Seven Habits That Will Harm Your Marriage

Avoiding the following seven habits may also help you avoid a divorce. Psychiatrist William Glasser, MD and his wife, Carleen Glasser, MA, co-authored a marriage advice book called Eight Lessons for a Happier Marriage. In the book, they mention “seven deadly habits” (they like numbers, it seems) that can lead to marital strife. They are: criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and bribing. It seems sometimes in our marriages that we don’t even realize that we are doing some of these things–hence the fact that they are habits I suppose. While I haven’t read the Glasser’s take on these myself, … Continue reading

Who Needs Affirmations and Encouraging More?

Do husbands need more reassurance, affirmation and encouragement than wives do? I’d be interested to hear what others think about this. Author and illustrator Graeme Base revealed in his interview on Talking Heads, how he was far more in need of praise and affirmations than his wife Robyn who is also a creative artist. His assessment of his wife was that she was much more independent and did not need to rely on input from him as much. He, on the other hand needed conformation from her about his work. It made me wonder if this is a personality difference … Continue reading

Don’t Fall in Love with Potential

Marriages are successful when two spouses love each other for who they are, not what they might become. But it is so easy to fall into a relationship where you love your partner for their potential not for who or what they are. While people should grow together and be more than they were when you met them, this way of being can end in marriage tragedy. We have a family friend who is in a new relationship. The couple enjoys each other, and both partners are bright, intelligent and caring people. The problem here is that in some areas, … Continue reading