The Best Way to Prepare for Marriage Is to Savor Your Engagement

January 05, 2021
Each year around the holiday season, social media posts are filled with pictures of rings, proposal videos, and changed relationship status. We are presently in the middle of the most popular proposal time of year with nearly forty percent of all engagements occurring occurring between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. This time period is often called the proposal season. As the time frame coincides with traditional holidays that are family gatherings, it seems a natural time for couples' proposals because they want to share their love commitment with those they love.

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships, Intentional Weddings & Wedding Planning

How to Have Difficult Conversations with Your Spouse—Successfully!

December 08, 2020

In love and marriage, we often hold back from being fully honest with our partner, even when it’s important. Maybe we’re afraid that we’ll hurt their feelings, or we’re fearful of their reaction. Or perhaps we think they’ll feel like we’re criticizing them. However, we may also hold on to resentment or anger toward them until it spills over to spoil our fun or warps our everyday interactions. Our unwillingness to speak up begins to padlock our hearts and closes off the current of our love.

What are those things in your relationship that sap your love? It might be little things that add up [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Eloping: Not the Escape Weddings of the Past

December 03, 2020

The year 2020 seems to have changed just about everything we know to be true, including weddings. I was invited to three weddings in 2020, all of which were canceled or postponed due to the pandemic. Each couple decided to cancel or postpone their wedding hoping that next year may have more of a sense of normalcy. These choices seemed like the only options for couples, but is there another way?

 

Recently, I ran into my dear friend, Merissa. She is a local photographerin Bozeman, Montana, who photographed some family photos for my family, and my husband and I’s wedding. As we caught up on [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships, Intentional Weddings & Wedding Planning

How to Achieve More Intimacy in Marriage

November 09, 2020

No intimacy in a marriage has many consequences. One of the biggest complaints I hear from couples is that they feel more like roomies than lovers—not what they signed on for. However, there are many varying forms and levels of intimacy; each couple is unique. Every person has a different drive and desire level. So, there are no magic solutions for lack of intimacy, although many behaviors steal connection from a marriage. Eliminate those, and you'll be on your way to a healthier and happier relationship.

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

3 Mindful Ways to Communicate Better in a Relationship

August 25, 2020

Research shows that open communication is the best predictor of relationship satisfaction. But when you're rushing to work, working a full day, picking the kids up from school, then off to soccer practice, who has time for a meaningful conversation? Our schedules can be relentless!

An open, honest conversation about your relationship might feel like the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day. And when you do sit down to talk with your partner, you might find yourself nodding and saying "uh-huh" more than staying present. Although a half-hearted response is understandable, it [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Healthy Couples—How to Keep Your Relationship Healthy

August 06, 2020

If you asked a hundred persons about their goals in life, at least half of them would mention their desire to be in a healthy relationship. And right at the front of this relationship train exists a loving, trustworthy spouse. So how do you create a healthy relationship? Read on to find out.

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

How Wedding Anniversary Symbols Support and Strengthen a Marriage

July 21, 2020

Anniversaries are opportunities to reflect on where you have come from, understand where you are, and get clear on where you are going. They are also a wonderful time to adjust the compass and chart a new course together or just revel in your journey thus far.

As my husband and I are approaching our second wedding anniversary, I have spent some time reflecting on our first two years. We have grown and strengthened our bond and communication as well as conquered new challenges together. In my reflection, I wondered, "How can I celebrate this milestone in a way that truly honors myself, my [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

If You Want a Successful Marriage, Increase Self-Mastery

July 03, 2020

What determines a successful marriage? Many people want to have healthy relationships yet struggle to know how. Why can most couples quickly tell when their partner is upset with them, but not know how to create the understanding and honesty necessary to resolve conflict? This ability is one crucial factor that builds successful and long-term marriages, so how is it that it's commonly lacking? On the contrary, couples can identify their partner's exact looks, facial expressions, body language, and the myriad ways that they are upset.

In these relationship conflicts, a love seat is not a [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

Why Knowing Your Partner's Love Language Can Strengthen Your Bond

May 29, 2020

A key to healthy relationships is understanding how best to express your love to your partner—loving in a way that resonates with them and fulfills their needs. Dr. Gary Chapman devised a meaningful method to communicate with your partner and show your affection based on their innate preferences. Dubbed the Love Languages, this approach relies on the theory that every individual has a predisposition to and identifies more heavily with one of five ways to spread and receive love.

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

Three Major Roadblocks in Relationships

May 12, 2020

There are little speed bumps in relationships, and there are major roadblocks. Most relationships survive speed bumps, but when couples make major missteps regularly, continue to hurt one another, or create roadblocks to love and loving, things start going downhill—sometimes gradually, and sometimes unexpectedly with an affair. Wouldn't you like to replace these unloving behaviors and roadblocks with loving habits to build a healthy relationship instead? Looking for advice about love?

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships