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Reflection: Helping Others

Tennessee Owl

I have done no postings to my blog in recent months for a variety of reasons. It has been a time of deep reflection about my life, service, and helping others. I have been: Responding to and re-balancing after the passing of my mother in October at age 90. Evaluating the purpose and value of […]

Communication Is More Than Talking

Yellow Lilies

Communication is one of my passions, and it’s clearly a key part of any relationship or marriage. It’s also a foundation for good consultations aimed at unified decision-making between a couple and in a family. However, it is often more than talking. One of the things I love about communication is the sheer variety related […]

Giving and Receiving Hospitality

Hospitality at Home

Hospitality is an opportunity to help people feel welcome in your home. It spreads happiness when you smile, offer refreshments, and help people feel comfortable. Have you had anyone over recently? There is an effect on you as well. I notice my husband and I feel uplifted as we prepare our home to be clean […]

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, […]

10 Guidelines for Making Decisions

My Lonely Island - Niijima Coast at Sundown

Here we go again! Every time we face making decisions, we have trouble doing it without fighting. Help! Having effective discussions and peacefully making decisions that work are often challenges for couples. Increasing skillfulness in this area will help your relationship or marriage mature in a healthy way and stay strong and happy. For a couple to […]

Flexibility with Change

MT - Logo

We live in a world that changes quickly. However, some of us are more adaptable than others. Flexibility with change may not be easy for you. Change sounds exciting and fun for some! For others, it is something to resist and dread. How does this play out in relationships and marriage? In the early stages, […]

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 […]

Powerful Partner Prayer

photo test for praveen 960 x 470

Individuals have their own experience of prayer, that personal conversation we each have with God. This means that learning how, when, and why to pray together in powerful partner prayer as a couple formed of two individuals can often be challenging. A place to begin can be sharing with each other: •  Why you pray • […]

Creating a Low-Conflict Marriage


“All couples fight.” “Learn to fight fair.” “Manage your conflict.” In a world where violent words and actions are common, we can automatically assume that various levels of conflict are normal and expected in relationships and marriages. A low-conflict marriage may seem unreachable. But what if it’s not true? What if it’s possible for couples […]

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