Category Archives: Marriage


SWM 133 – Loving your spouse where they are

I often give beginner homework to my coaching clients. A few of them will likely read this and think, “He was talking about me.” You’re not wrong, but you’re also not alone. 

I give it out frequently because it helps combat some fundamental problems I see in many marriages: resentment, unmet expectations, and continued disappointment. Whatever caused the resentment doesn’t matter. If you want to improve the marriage, you must get rid of that attitude first. Resentment leads to contempt, and once you hit that point, the marriage is on life support, and it becomes challenging to resurrect.

Some come to coaching and realize that they have this issue.  They recognize that resentment is an attitude, and attitudes can be changed.  They know they can fix it; they just don’t know how or need some support, some accountability, or encouragement to keep up the hard work of changing that mindset.

And it is hard work. Reversing that mindset takes time, effort, and consistently following the plan we co-create. There are ups and downs, backslides, and sidetracks. But if they put in the work, then it does happen. Then the fun begins because now we can make some real progress.

Others come to coaching convinced their spouse is the issue and work hard to rationalize and justify their attitude toward them.  They want me to change their spouse so that they can be happy.  Sometimes, they have one foot out the door already, and this is the last-ditch effort to “save the marriage,” by which they mean that if I don’t fix their spouse, they will divorce them.

Whatever type they are, they get the same homework. It’s not only the first step to reversing the mindset but also a test to see if they’re coachable.

SWM 131 – Tips to fight more effectively

Last week, I shared a list of ideas our Couple’s Night group had that helped build a resilient marriage. At the end of the call, we still had some time and started discussing fighting more effectively. Again, the group came up with some excellent ideas I want to share today.

Because fights will happen, I might even say they should happen.  When I come across a couple that doesn’t fight in any way – that’s a red flag.  It means one or both don’t feel safe in the marriage.  They aren’t able to express their views and opinions. 

Because if you put two people together for long enough, they will eventually find something to disagree about.

Ideally, a fight won’t involve yelling, screaming, hitting, throwing, or anything else like that, but it’s okay to quarrel.

So, today, we will discuss how to fight more effectively in your marriage so that your arguments can be a source of growth instead of damage.

SWM 130 – Building resiliency in marriage

On the first Tuesday of every month, Chris from TheLionWithin.us and I co-host “Couple’s Night.”  Couples from our communities get together to talk about marriage. We discuss struggles, share ideas, tips, and a lot of funny stories. It’s an absolute blast. 

This Tuesday, we got together and talked about resiliency in marriage. There were about six couples in the Zoom call, and I thought they all had a lot of wisdom to share, so I tried to quickly take some notes and thought I’d relay them to you.

Because marriages need resiliency, we’re going to face struggles. They might be external, like events happening with your job, your family, your friends, and more. They might be internal, such as the type of struggles two individuals face when you put them together for long periods of time for years on end.

Challenges are normal, but we need to learn how to face them and not only survive them but, ideally, thrive and grow through them.

So, here are the six things our small group came up with.

SWM 128 – Relationships require recalibration

There’s an old quip about how men get married expecting their wives to stay the same, and women get married expecting to be able to change their men, and neither gets what they want. It’s funny because often, there’s an element of truth to this, which frustrates both spouses.

Of course, it doesn’t apply to every marriage, and sometimes the dynamic is reversed, but what is expected of every marriage is that something in the marriage will change.  It may be the wife, it may be the husband, it’s likely going to be both in some ways, and it’s also going to be your surroundings and context.  You’ll get pets, you’ll have kids, you’ll move, you’ll change jobs, change churches, experience illness or injury, suffer losses or experience big wins – whatever it is, things will change.

Those changes require a recalibration of the marriage, communication, and a discussion about what it means, what needs to change, and what should stay the same.  

So, today, we’re going to talk about how to deal with the inevitable changes that come and how and when to talk about them so that you can keep your marriage calibrated rather than running on old habits and patterns that no longer suit your life.

SWM 121 – Why marriage should be hard work

I made a post on social media some time ago saying, “Marriage is hard, divorce is hard, choose your hard,” and someone asked me if I then disagreed with some other bloggers and podcasters who say that marriage is and should be easy.  This post expands on what I wrote in response to that question.

SWM 118 – In sickness and in health

The traditional wedding vows go something like “I take you to be my wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband/wife in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”

Unfortunately, I don’t remember my wedding vows. I remember picking some. I remember memorizing them. I remember reciting them, from memory, during the wedding, despite having the flu and a fever. But nearly 23 years later, I don’t remember what they were.

I’m sure they contained something like “in sickness and in health,” though.

This past month, we got to test those vows.

SWM 096 – Why men being submissive is problematic

A post in response to this question:

Hi. I wanted to know if there is any reason that the man can’t be the submissive part sometimes during sex. Because I feel like I want to be submissive from time to time, but I don’t want to ask my wife because it’s an awkward topic.

SWM 069 – Is it okay to remarry after being divorced?

A friend of mine recently asked if the Bible allows you to remarry after you’ve been divorced. Her impression from reading the Bible was that if you were divorced and remarried, not only would you be committing adultery in God’s eyes, but so too would be your future spouse. Knowing that I like to tackle difficult questions, she asked me – is it okay to remarry after being divorced?

What do couples do when one wants sex and the other doesn’t?

The difference in sexual desire between a husband and a wife is one of those universal conflicts.  I think just about every marriage deals with it at some point.  If yours hasn’t yet – well congratulations newlyweds! Just because it’s a conflict though doesn’t mean

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