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10 Tips To Keep The Kids From Wrecking Your Marriage

One day our kids will move out of our homes…at least that’s the plan, right?

Protect Your Marriage From Your Kids

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The day after our kids move out, will we look at our spouse and wonder who this stranger is in our home?

According to a white paper, The Grey Divorce Revolution, from research done at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, the diverse rate for couples over the age of 50 doubled from 1990 to 2010. 1 in 4 married couples are now getting divorced after the age of 50.

For many couples, the focus and, dare I say…”distraction“…of raising kids keeps them from dealing with the little issues that come up in any relationship. So, by the time the kids leave the house…mom and dad are strangers to one another.

People change over time. Couples who don’t change with each other, change apart from each other. Tweet That

Proactive parenting leads to meaningful marriages that last. By being proactive in your parenting as a couple you are being proactive in your marriage. Growing a family that last takes work and intentional effort. In other words, great families happen by design.

THE IDEA:

Don’t Let An Empty Nest Become A Nest With Unrest

TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:

 

  1. Don’t focus on the kids more than the marriage. Parenting shouldn’t be looked at as something you only do for a season and when it’s over then you’ll have time to work on your marriage. You might hate this statement, but my wife comes before my kids.
  2. Focus on goals in raising kids verses desires. Anger is the result of blocked goals. Set smart goals to avoid being angry. Check out this previous blog post about Goals Vs Desires.
  3. Have a parenting meeting with your spouse on a regular basis. Marissa and I are just starting this. We have coffee one morning every week before the kids are up. During this time we are intentional to talk only about our kids and our parenting only.
  4. Be on the same page with every parenting decision. And, I mean every single decision…probably not in detail…but in theory. Let me explain real quick. My wife, Marissa, doesn’t consult me about what to give the kids for lunch or dinner. However, we have still agreed on the type of food our kids will eat. We’ve talked about and agreed on what they won’t eat, how much they should eat, when we introduce new foods, etc. We’ve agreed to never use food as a punishment. We’ve agreed to never cook separate food for dinner for the kids while we eat something “healthy” just because they would prefer processed food. We work to agree on the theory behind our parenting decisions so we are making decisions in the absence of each other that is consistent. We do this for the sake of our kids, and so we don’t get into fights over conflicting decisions.
  5. Date your spouse.
  6. Do lots of things together as a family.
  7. Help your kids say no to every opportunity to experience something new. We have to be careful that we don’t raise our children to be experience rich yet relationally pour.
  8. Vacation with and without the kids.
  9. Send the kids to a week of summer camp at the same time and do something special as a couple during that week.
  10. Do something together every evening after the kids go to bed. Pray, watch a TV show, do a devotional, play a board or video game, etc. Just do something together.

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW:

  • Schedule a date night.  If you want some help making this happen; check out my free eBook about dating your spouse.
  • Start having a weekly parenting conversation. You can download a Proactive Parenting Conversation Agenda Here
  • Identify a married couple that are empty-nesters and their marriage is still thriving. Ask them to mentor you and your spouse. Get together once a month with them and talk about parenting and marriage.
  • Plan something fun to do together as a family in the next two weeks.

RELATED POST FROM MY BLOG:

LET’S TALK:

Question: How do you and your spouse keep your relationship a priority? What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from another couple further along in life than you are?  Give a shout out to a couple that has mentored you and you appreciate.

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7 Ideas To Fail-Proof Your Marriage

Marriage’s fail.

A Happy Married Couple

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And, the less intentional a couple is at working on their marriage, the more likely it is their marriage will fail.

Imagine two people decide to start a carpentry business, they:read books,

  • take some classes,
  • talk with other carpenters,
  • buy all the tools,
  • get a nice new fancy truck,
  • get a logo and business cards,
  • have a website designed and
  • get their business licence.

Now, let’s say they just sit in their truck and drive around. They never give an estimate, take a job and they never build a thing. They have all the right stuff;

  • knowledge,
  • the tools and equipment,
  • a strong desire and
  • even the label.

But, they don’t have a fail-proof carpentry business. In fact, it’s easy to see their carpentry endeavor will actually fail quickly.

It’s true for marriage.

Imagine two people decide to get married, they:

  • read books,
  • take a pre-marriage class,
  • talk with other married couples,
  • buy the rings and register for the all the stuff,
  • get a nice new fancy apartment,
  • get invitations,
  • have a beautiful wedding and
  • get their marriage license.

Now, let’s say they just settle into daily life. They stop dating, take each other for granted, stop saying please and thank you and slowly stop having fun together regularly. They have all the right stuff;

  • knowledge,
  • the tools and equipment (aka rings, marriage license, etc),
  • a strong desire and
  • even the label.

But, they don’t have a fail-proof marriage. In fact, it’s much harder to see but, their marriage endeavor will actually fail slowly and painfully.

THE IDEA:

Fun Marriages Don’t’ Fail

 TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:

  1. When each spouse is fully submitted to making the other person better…that’s fail-proofing marriage.
  2. When each spouse is fully submitted to using integrity to make the other person happy…that’s fail-proofing marriage.
  3. When each spouse is fully submitted to making the other person more confident…that’s fail-proofing marriage.
  4. When each spouse is fully submitted to the character of their marriage over the comfort of their marriage…that’s fail-proofing marriage
  5. When each spouse is fully submitted to learning new things about their spouse regularly…that’s fail-proofing marriage
  6. When each spouse is fully submitted to having fun regularly with their spouse…that’s fail-proofing marriage
  7. When each spouse is fully submitted to the other…that’s fail-proofing marriage
  8. BONUS Idea (and, the lynchpin) When each spouse is fully submitted to God and having a Christ-centered marriage…that’s fail-proofing marriage.
  • ?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have?

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW:

  • Schedule a date with your spouse.
  • Start a “New Thing List”. Resolve for one week to never let the sun go down on a day until you can record one new thing you learned about your spouse that day. If it worked for you, do it for one month. Then, 3 months, 6 months and up to a year. But hey, start with one week.
  • Brag about your spouse to someone else today.
  • Brag about your spouse to a stranger today. (use your Facebook status if you need to)

LET’S TALK:

Questions: What do you think it takes to fail-proof a marriage?  Go ahead, brag about your spouse in the comments today.  

If you are another blogger and have a post related to this that others might find helpful, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

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RELATED POST FROM MY BLOG:

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For A Better Marriage Don’t Believe The 50/50 Myth

I don’t know about you, but I hear a lot of people say that Marriage is 50/50, each person has to give and take and it’s all about compromise.

Image courtesy of tungphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tungphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The problem is, I hear this from people with failed marriages. From a generation getting marriage wrong.

Marriage isn’t 50/50.

Marriage is:

  • Complete submission.
  • Hard work.
  • Something you do, not a label of what you are.

Recently I heard, “Marriage is 90/10”. WOW, this isn’t right either. I mean, why hold back anything. We are called in scripture to fully submit to one another. The Bible says we become One Flesh. Therefore, I say to you that marriage is 100/100.

There shouldn’t be any give and take in marriage.  There should be give and receive.  (Please, click here to tweet that)

When I got married to my beautiful wife, Marissa. I gave 100% of myself to her and our relationship. And she did the same to me and to us. Do I have dreams of my own? Sure, when they include her.

THE IDEA:

Is Your Spouse Worth Any Sacrifice?

TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:

  • Each spouse needs permission to say, “I think you NEED or SHOULD be here or there.” when it comes down to deciding between a work function and a family function.
  • If you work for a company that won’t put your family first, find a new career…or make one for yourself.
  • Pray for your spouse’s wants as much or more than you pray for your own.
  • Study and date your spouse.
  • Keep a time budget for one week. Record the time you spend focused on work, spouse, kids, family, friends, and yourself. How does your spouse measure up? Are you really sacrificing for them?
  • With your spouse, create a weekly/daily time budget. How much time does everything in your life get.

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW:

  • Ask your spouse how you are doing.
  • Read the book Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley.
  • Schedule a time to work on a time budget with your spouse.

RELATED POST FROM MY BLOG:

RELATED POST FROM MY WIFE’S BLOG:

LET’S TALK:

Questions: How do you keep your marriage 100/100?  What’ fraction do you give your marriage?

If you are another blogger and have a post related to this that others might find helpful, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

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How To Eradicate Anger In Your Marriage

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqvRsOkhdKs

Not one married person with a healthy psychology wants to be angry at their spouse or have their spouse angry with them.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But it happens all the time.  Just look at divorce statistics or listen to the Dave Ramsey Radio show or other talk shows that take live callers.  Daytime TV talk shows also spotlight anger in marriage pretty often.

How does anger seep into a marriage and destroy it?

The answer is very simple.

Anger is the symptom of a blocked goal.  

Anger is a symptom not the problem.  Trying to address the anger, will only give you a bandaid.  You can use the anger to discover the real problem to address.

  • One spouse has a goal to save money and the other keeps spending it.
  • One spouse has a goal to have a clean and presentable house and the other spouse drops their (his) socks all over the place.
  • One spouse wants soft butter and likes it out on the counter.  The other spouse thinks it will go bad on the counter and wants it in the fridge so it last longer.
  • One spouse has a goal provide for the family comfort by working hard to provide a “nice” house, lots of toys, great vacations, etc..  The other spouse wants quality family time together regularly over having the newest iPhone or a nice boat.
  • One spouse has a goal to be a couple that dates.  The other thinks it’s a stupid idea.
  • And on and on the list goes.

 THE IDEA:

Don’t Be Angry, Have Clear Goals  

 TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:

So how do we fix this?  How do we build a Force Field around our marriages to protect them from anger?

  • Understand the difference between goals and desires.

A goal that requires the action of someone isn’t a goal, it’s a desire.  If you have a goal for your family to spend time together, you are going to get angry when your spouse decides to do something else.  Your bad goal has been blocked.

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Do you and your spouse have shared goals and desires?  Have you talked about them since pre-marrige counseling?  You need to talk about your goals and desires all the time.  We change with time, so do our desires which means we need to adjust our goals.

  • Be submissive.

One of your desires should be for your spouse to be happy.  This can’t be a goal, because you can’t make someone feel happy.  However, you can put their preferences and desires before your own.  You can let them pick the movie or restaurant.  You can have a goal to not complain or roll your eyes when your spouse suggest doing something you don’t want to do.

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW:

  • Read the post by Jackie Bledsoe on developing a marriage plan.
  • Get instant access to 6 fun and unique date ideas. (Hint: 4 of them can be done for less then $20) Click Here
  • Write down your goals and desires.  Decide which is a goal and which is really a desire.  Share that list with your spouse.
  • Check out the book The Five Love Languages.

RELATED POST FROM MY BLOG:

 RELATED POST FROM MY WIFE’S BLOG:

LET’S TALK:

Question:  What’s a blocked goal that was causing tension and anger in your marriage?  What other ares in life do you see this principle applying to?  What’s your favorite marriage book?

If you are a blogger and have a post related to this that others might find helpful, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

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Things You Should Steal For Your Wife

Go ahead, steal ideas for your wife.

Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Recently I was asked a very interesting question on Facebook. For our wedding anniversary I changed my profile picture on Facebook and Twitter to this…

I Love My Wife

Feel free to download and use.

 

I encouraged other husbands to do the same thing. Later that day (or maybe the next) a husband posted this question. “I like the idea, but does it still mean the same if you have to be told to do it?”

Guys, we have to stop thinking like this. After all. What’s more important, your wife’s comfort and happiness or your ego? Besides, we are smart enough to tweak any idea to make it a bit different…which is all it takes to make it special.

I heard a wife being interviewed on the radio say that husbands need to tell their wives that they would choose them again. And, that we need to communicate this to our wives regularly. So I thought, “what the heck.” I grabbed my phone and texted my wife…”Hey, thinking of you and wanted to say I’d choose you again. I love you.

She replied, “Thanks. What did you do?”

Just kidding, she replied, “Thanks, I love you to.” And no….it didn’t bother me at all that she should have used “too” instead of “to”. That night when I got home from work, Marissa greeted me with a smile and again said, “Thanks for my text message today.”

It really meant a lot to her. I told her that I hadn’t thought of it but heard someone suggest it. She only wanted to know that I meant it.

After all:

  • You’re not the first guy to ask his girlfriend to marry him…and she loved that
  • You’re not the first guy to repeat wedding vows, but she loved hearing you say them
  • You’re not the first man to say “I Love You” yet your wife still loves hearing you say that
  • You’re not the first guy to send flowers
  • You’re not the first to get a card or candy for valentines day

…yet she appreciates all of them.So why copy what is already done so often it’s common place. Why not steal (or borrow if that makes you feel better) the unique ideas as well?

THE IDEA:

Husbands, Steal For Your Wife

TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:

  • Change a profile picture (click here to download the one I created for my wife)
  • Text your wife at 2:18 and tell her you are glad she’s in your life. (Genesis 2:18 …it’s not good for man to be alone…)
  • With your wife, pick a random day on the calendar that isn’t anything already. Just a normal day. Make it “Our Day”. Then, every year plan something special for “Our Day”.

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW:

  • Husbands, ask your wife on a date. On the date, talk about what she’d like for you to do for her that would show her your love in action.
  • Start a married men’s Bible study group. Ask a couple guys to meet once a week. Use a Serendipity Bible to guide an hour or so Bible study. For example, meet every Tuesday at 7:30 at Bob Evans.
  • Have you heard an idea but are having trouble thinking of a way to modify it? Email me directly, I’ll help come up with some creative ideas to modify it or give you a unique ideas that I’ll totally make up.

RELATED POST FROM MY BLOG:

RELATED POST FROM MY WIFE’S BLOG:

Question: Wives, would you prefer your husband steal (and tweak a bit) an idea or do nothing at all? Husbands, what is the best thing you have done for your wife that another husband could steal?

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