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Practice Thankfulness

Roadside Golden Flowers

In parts of North America during the autumn harvest period, people practice thankfulness for blessings. In close relationships, expressing loving appreciation to each other for positive actions is part of what contributes to happiness. In my book Creating Excellent Relationships: The Power of Character Choices, I define “thankfulness” as “expressing warm, genuine feelings of praise, […]

Growing from the Relentless Challenges of Life

Couple at Beach - David Niblack - edited for blog

It’s relentless. For the last few months, I’ve been traveling and responding to the needs of critically ill relatives. When I’ve been home, the piles of needs insisting on being met grow like a well-fertilized garden. Each day has calls and emails with more problems to solve. This week a family member was tricked with […]

Pace Your Relationship

Character Quality Skit 1

When I travel, I occasionally pick up a light-reading romance novel that I can leave behind in airplanes or hotels. After reading one, I notice I am feeling resistant to the popular notion of “instant relationships”. It is the norm in these books for the couple to be physically intimate after barely being introduced and […]

Four Healthy Relationship Essentials

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How we conduct relationships has changed constantly for decades, sometimes for the better, and sometimes in unwise directions. In a constant search for a healthy relationship, we are often finding it more difficult to end up happily married. (See this article from the New York Times about changing practices: End of Courtship.) Successful dating is not particularly […]

Getting to Know Your Spouse

West Point Parade Ground

It’s easy to think you know your spouse well. However, there are always deeper opportunities. It’s also easy to get busy and lose track of important details. Over the summer I was sorting through some of my husband Phil’s boxes long stored in the garage. Included were many items from his college years at West […]

Thinking Affects Relationships

prayer-close; David Niblack - edited

Thinking affects relationships with others, especially those close to you. Do your thoughts also have an effect on your well-being? Where do you focus your energy? Over the last few months I have noticed a very interesting phenomenon. I have an almost immediate physical reaction when I think something self-critical, or when I have a […]

Striving for Integrity

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For the last few months, I engaged in a process of reflection about my life and Marriage Transformation®. I have also actively engaged in what I call “striving for integrity”—bringing wholeness and completion to many aspects of my life that were unaddressed. I will share a bit about both processes and encourage you to apply them to […]

Gratitude As a Couple Practice

Sunrise in Tennessee

Around holiday times the topic of gratitude and what we are grateful for is a common one. However, it is vital to practice gratitude and appreciation in our relationships and marriages every day. Marriage Coach David L. Banks says: “A treasure is any act of service that you give to each other. You can invite […]

Loving Each Other Well

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When a passionate connection between you is present, you are willing to suffer and sacrifice for each other. John R. Buri, author of “How to Love Your Wife”, and a professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota shared helpful tips at one workshop at the National Association of Relationship and Marriage Educators annual […]

Character Quality Language

Character Quality Language

Craig A Farnsworth, co-founder of Marriage Transformation, explains the concept of using Character Quality Language to acknowledge a positive character based action someone makes. Relationships and marriages founded on two people with excellent characters goes a long way to help them succeed. Craig passed away of brain cancer in 2009.

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