Category Archives: Marriage Help

Five Common Marriage Problems and The Solutions

Marriage ProblemsMarriage problems tend to run the gamut, but there are some pretty common problems that tend to be issues for the majority of couples. Let me introduce you to the solutions to five common marriage problems…

The first one, you guessed it, is communication problems. Ask yourself the question, “Do you feel that your spouse understands and knows you?” Many couples endure a profound sense of being misunderstood, not being liked or not being accepted by their spouse. Often times this problem is largely due to poor communication. Does that ring true for you?

To have a healthy marriage you need to be a good communicator.

Second, along those same lines is intimacy problems. Ask yourself whether you feel really close, safe and unified with your spouse? What about different areas of intimacy such as emotional, spiritual and physical? Rate those on a scale of 0-10. Zero being I have no sense of closeness or intimacy. Ten being I couldn’t feel closer, safer or more unified with my spouse.

To overcome marriage problems you need to have intimacy.

Third, one of the purposes of marriage is to meet the emotional needs of the members of the marriage covenant. Speaking of needs, do you know what your top 3 emotional needs are? What about your spouse’s top 3 emotional needs?

Knowing and intentionally meeting the needs of your spouse is critical to maintaining a healthy, satisfying marriage. It is also critical to affair proofing your marriage.

To have a great marriage you need to meet your spouse’s emotional needs.

Fourth, ask yourself, “Do you feel loved by your spouse? Does your spouse feel loved by you?” By the way, did you notice I didn’t say, do you know whether your spouse loves you…

That’s because whether you know it or not, it’s important to EXPERIENCE love from your spouse! Not feeling love in a marriage is one of the most dangerous marriage problems out there. To have a great marriage you need to speak your spouse’s love language…in other words you need to communicate your love the way your spouse best experiences it.

To have a great marriage you need speak your spouse’s love language.

Fifth, did you know that 40%-70% of marriages decline in overall marital satisfaction after the children arrive. Wow! But if you have children, you may have already suspected that.

That leads us to our next issue which is parenting. Do you feel like you and your spouse are on the same team when it comes to parenting? Differences in parenting styles, blended family issues, and simply the added stress of children can complicate your marriage.

Overcome your marriage problems by becoming parenting partners!

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Relationship Help Tools for Improving Intimacy

Realtionship HelpAre you looking for relationship help? This article discusses some of the key issues you need to know to have relationship success.

You Were Made in God’s Image

Here you will find relationship help tools for improving intimacy. Because you were made in the image of the Triune God, you were made for intimacy. Listen to what God said… “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness (Genesis 1:26).

Who’s He talking about? “Let us”, “in our”? God is talking about the Trinity. He is the Triune God. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: He is in perfect and harmonious relationship with Himself! And since it is in His image that you were made, He has much to offer you in the way of relationship help.

Healthy Relationships begin with …

Understanding our need for emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy, though males and females experience it differently, is the primary need for both sexes. Emotional intimacy between two people looks like…

  • Being known deep down and accepted
  • Being able to share your dreams, hopes and desires
  • Being able to share your strongest and most profound feelings

Healthy, satisfying and lasting intimacy requires an attachment or bond between people that creates a safe and secure environment. For couples, that relationship begins while dating. King David’s Psalm teaches us that our ability to form healthy intimate relationships begins at our mother’s breast and even impacts our ability to trust God.

If we are having relationship problems, it may also mean we need relationship assistance with God. Intimacy or relationship problems are often rooted in attachment issues.

Click here to learn more about attachment theory and how you can improve intimacy within your marriage relationship.

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Communication Skill Builders For Improving Your Relationships

CommunicationCommunication skill builders are necessary for addressing the number one problem that plagues relationships…communication problems. Whether it’s communication in your marriage or family, or communication problems in the workplace; Christian Counseling Online has some great resources to build up your communication skills…

Because we were created with a deep desire to be understood, communication is the number one issue human beings have to contend with. Our ability to communicate effects the quality of all our relationships. Whether you’re communicating

  • Your needs in your marriage
  • Your ideas in your workplace
  • Your sexual desires in the bedroom

communication skill builders can help you in all these areas.

In fact communication is crucial…

Which brings me to our first communication skill builders…Crucial Conversations, Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.

This skill builder is great for those who want to improve communication in any area of their life…but it will be especially effective for helping you improve workplace communication. If your in a supervisory or management position it’s a must read!

Crucial Conversations sets the stage by identifying real life critical errors made in the workplace…errors like a surgeon removing the wrong limb of his patient! (how do you think he explained that one?)

The authors navigate the reader (or listener if you decide to get the CD’s or tapes) through the sequence of events, breaking communication problems down into it’s critical steps like…

  • Removing barriers to effective communication
  • Managing anger and conflict
  • Making communication safe
  • Expressing genuine interest in others
  • Taking action to accomplish your goals

I’m sure you can already see how this workplace communication skill builder would be effective in any communication setting.

For communication skill builders for improving your marriage communication look no further than Norm Wright’s book Communication: Key to Your Marriage .” In his book, Wright provides practical tips on communicating. He covers…

  • Communication styles
  • Sexual differences
  • Resolving conflict
  • The gift of listening
  • Decision making
  • Anger management

Most importantly Wright explains why good communication is key to a happy and fulfilling marriage. He even includes a satisfaction rating scale to help you monitor your communication progress with your spouse.

If you need communication skill builders that go beyond the basics…if you need communication skills that go to the heart of your communication struggles…

Then Paul D. Tripps book, War of Words is the book for you. Tripp goes beyond the basics to help you understand the power of your words. He defines communication from God’s perspective…

Words, the Bible teaches, have the power of life and the power of death… they can wound or they can heal. Through this book you will learn to be a good steward of the gift of communication that God has given you.

Now listen up! Here’s some …if you are willing to learn and practice a few skills, then you can improve your ability to understand and be understood. If you practice your communication skill building, then you will reduce frustration in your marriage and other relationships and you will experience more relational satisfaction then ever before.

Remember, a primary, but little understood goal of communication is to create an experience for your partner of being understood and accepted. One of the most powerful and effective ways to do this is by…

Mirroring, validating and empathizing…All the communication experts teach this basic formula for effective communication. For a printable article on a communication skills activity effective communication.

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Nonverbal Communication Tips

Body LanguageSome researchers have found that nonverbal communication accounts for as much as 80% of communication. That means if you want to improve your interpersonal relationships you must be aware of the way you communicate nonverbally.

Nonverbals refers to all the ways we communicate apart from words: like time management, body language, facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice to name a few.

Let’s take a look at these different kinds of nonverbal communication one at a time…

Time management: Making time for someone is a powerful way to communicate that you care. We all know what it is like trying to take care of an urgent medical need only to find out we can’t get in to see the doctor for 2 weeks. We translate that response as, “They just don’t understand, they just don’t care.”

In Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Languages of Love” he identifies spending quality time together as one of the 5 love languages. Along with spending time is the giving of one’s undivided attention. Which brings us to…

Body language as a type of nonverbal communication. Giving one’s undivided attention means that you not only remove distractions like phones, TV’s and computers from the immediate surroundings. It also means that the position of your body is attentive and open to the one you are communicating with.

Open and attentive communication looks like: Your body is facing the speaker. You are making eye contact comfortably with the speaker. You are nodding your head appropriately to reassure the speaker that you are listening. You give an occasional minimal verbal response like hmmm or ah-ha. Body language also includes facial expressions…

Facial expressions are the most powerful type of nonverbal communication. Our facial expressions communicate our emotion, even when we are unsure of what we are feeling. Some have referred to the face as the organ of emotion.

Facial expressions are such a powerful means of communication Proverbs 6:16 teaches that there are 6 things the Lord hates, 7 that are detestable to him: haughty eyes being the first thing mentioned! In Twila Paris’ song “How Beautiful” there is a line that goes, “How beautiful the tender eyes that choose to forgive and never despise. Wow! What power there is in a look! You can convey just as much power or even more in tone of voice.

Tone of voice is the one I get called on the most by my husband. Becoming aware of one’s tone of voice can be very helpful. We can say the same thing, but emphasize different words in the same phrase, to drastically change the meaning of the statement. For example….

      • Honey, are you going to take out the trash?”
      • “Honey, are you going to take out the trash?”
      • “Honey, are you going to take out the trash?”
      • “Honey, are you going to take out the trash?”
      • “Honey, are you going to take out the trash?”
      • “Honey, are you going to take out the trash?”

Gestures are another way we communicate nonverbally. Gesturing is done with the hands. Growing up, my friends would always tease me about “talking with my hands.” I have to chuckle to myself when a couple comes in for counseling, wanting to improve their relationship, but…while one spouse is telling their side of the story, the other spouse is making faces, waving their hands in disbelief and all but saying “I can’t believe you’re saying that. You’ve got it all wrong!” Using nonverbal communications that convey care, interest and respect can contribute volumes to improving interpersonal relationships.

Our nonverbal communication conveys powerfully our interest, love and respect for others. For example when my husband is trying to talk to me while I am on the computer and I remain steadfastly glued to the screen, giving him only minimal verbal responses…this does not say to him, “I love you, you’re number one in my life.” To become a more effective communicator become more aware of the way you communicate nonverbally.

 

 

Improve Your Interpersonal Relationship Skill

Interpersonal Relationship SkillsExceptional interpersonal relationship skill is necessary for both personal and professional success. Unfortunately it is not a skill that is thoroughly taught and emphasized at the High School or even college level of academia.

Relationship success requires good relationship skills

Yet, interpersonal relationship skill has tons to do with the quality of our lives. Even our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ will improve once we become intentional about using good interpersonal skills.

In this article on interpersonal relationship skills you will learn two important steps to developing your relationship skill…

First, identify what are you trying to communicate (feelings, facts). Many people speak without having really thought about what they are trying to communicate. At the very least, relationship skills are for the purpose of making a “connection” with another human being. Learn to make stronger interpersonal connections by…

  • Making your nonverbal communication consistent with your message.
  • Understand the purpose or motive of your communication (give information, connect with others, resolve conflict).
  • Speak graciously, without using offensive or derogatory words.
  • Give the benefit of the doubt…don’t blame others.
  • Speak as if the Lord were present (because He is).

Second, did you know that people can listen about four times faster than they speak? The average listening comprehension speed is about 600 words per minute. The average speaking speed is 150-200 words per minute. What does this bit of truth mean to your interpersonal relationship skills?

  • More focused energy is required to be a good listener.
  • Listen more than you speak, after all God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth.
  • Remember the 80/20 rule. When someone is speaking to you, you should listen 80% of the time and speak only 20%.

Learn to be an excellent listener by…

  • Caring more about what the speaker is saying than your response.
  • Choosing not to argue in your head with the listener.
  • Choosing not to formulate your rebuttal while the speaker is talking.
  • Instead, tune in completely to what they are saying for the purpose of understanding them.
  • Choosing to respond to what they said, rather than what you want to say.

You were made for relationship…therefore, choose to be more committed to making a healthy connection with others by developing your interpersonal relationship skill. Your personal and professional success depends on it.