Debt and Marriage: How It is Tough to Love When You Owe

Many couples enter into a marriage with debt already in hand. Others accumulate debt together. Either way, nurturing a loving relationship can be hard when debt is hanging over your head. In fact, according to a study by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University, couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances only a few times a month. Another inference can be made from this study: there is a whole lot of disagreement about money out there. Debt is a source of contention. … Continue reading

Men and Women Are from Earth

A study came out recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “Men and Women Are from Earth: Examining the Latent Structure of Gender.” The central hypothesis of the paper is that men and women actually aren’t all that different.  Many of the differences that we might demonstrate have more to do societal expectations than inherent biology. This isn’t the first study on the subject.  I recently read the book “Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference,” by neuroscience psychologist Cordelia Fine.  In it she exposes noticeable trends in male vs. female psychology, both in … Continue reading

Lowering Expectations in a Marriage

There is a fine line between learning to lower your expectations in a marriage and when to fight for what’s “right.”  Keep in mind that what’s considered right is all about perspective. Your right might not be my right…just as your spouse’s right might not be your right. One of the ways I try to gauge my “rights” is by how critical the issue really is; not how important it should be or I would like it to be.  But looking at it in a realistic and selfless manner. That isn’t easy, believe me.  It requires stepping back from the … Continue reading

Living with Engineers: It’s All in the Timing

Another engineer’s wife and I were having a discussion about household chores yesterday.  We were bemoaning the fact that if we want our husbands to do something for us, we either need to tell them right away, or it won’t happen at all. The engineer’s mind is a constant one-way track of processing information.  It’s what makes them so brilliant and efficient: they zero in on a task, giving it their complete focus until it’s done.  I’m almost always thinking about other things while I’m working on something, which is why it can take me longer to achieve something with … Continue reading

Respect and Honor: Two Important Ingredients

There are two important ingredients to every marriage:  respect and honor.  But I’m afraid these are oftentimes considered antiquated elements in today’s society. In a world where the focus is oftentimes self-centered, marriages can quickly disintegrate.  But with respect and honor becoming the focal point, many of the challenges could be easily dealt with or avoided altogether. What does it mean to respect your spouse in marriage?  It means to respect their feelings.  If you know something in particular upsets your spouse, makes him or her angry or anxious, don’t do it. It also means to respect their time.  Demanding … Continue reading

Letting Go of Control

I’m doing this great online Bible study from a book called, “Let It Go.”  One of my favorite chapters was “Managing Your Man” and it was all about learning to let go, to stop trying to control your husband. This is a common issue in marriages but it can affect both sides.  The very things about your spouse that made you fall in love; quickly become the very things you try to change. Some people take the whole “the two shall become one” thing to mean control.  But this is detrimental to your marriage. I was pretty messed up when … Continue reading

Two by Two

The other night we went over a friend’s house for a party.  I was wondering where we’d all park, because there are 18 people coming, and I didn’t think many of us would carpool.  “We’re all going to be coming two by two,” I said.  I made myself laugh, but it’s true.  When you run in married circles, people tend to go places two by two. I already covered how I resent the idea that Jon and I are attached at the hip.  The group of friends I saw is the same from quiz night.  Most of us go to … Continue reading

The Measure of Success

I was talking to a dear friend of mine late last night. We both were expressing our frustration with the men, or lack thereof, in our lives. We both have had such a strong desire to find a good man to share our lives with and have tried our best to live worthy of such a man; a man who would love and support us, who would be a good father and husband. I realized before long that we had both equated our success in life to whether or not we would ever marry. We both had such an intense … Continue reading

Finding Inspiration from Valentine’s

It’s another Valentine’s Day.  I’m not sure what Jonathan and I are going to do this year; last year I wrote about how we’ve rarely, if ever, celebrated the holiday.  He doesn’t even need to find me any candy hearts, because the box he bought me last year was so big I still have some left over. This year, I do kind of feel inspired to do something special for him.  However, I’m not sure if I actually want to do it on Valentine’s Day.  I’m still not sure that I like the idea of one day set aside for … Continue reading

Scripted Romance

Many years ago I let my husband off the hook—the one where he gets hung up for failing to come through on Valentine’s Day.  I used to have lots of expectations until I began to realize something….his love for me is shown on a daily basis.  So why expect him to do something extravagant one day a year? Now, I’m not knocking those couples who go all out for Valentine’s Day.  Maybe it’s the fact we’ve been married for more than two decades or it could be we have grown too comfortable—who knows? I just know that my husband feels … Continue reading