Can God help my marriage?

So many couples collapse in the seat of despair feeling no hope for their marriage. Satan is the enemy of our souls and our relationships. His job is to bring darkness and despair. But in God there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5. God’s presence dispels the darkness in your marriage. God’s presence helps us in our time of need!Man and woman separated by door

I believe with all my heart God is with me. When couples step into my office or face me on their computer screen they are in the presence of God’s light shining through me. Over and over I have witnessed the transformative power of that light. I tend to see the worse cases. Couples come to see me who have already filed for divorce. I see couples ripped to pieces by affairs. I see couples swallowed up in drug and alcohol addiction. I see couples who have physically assaulted one another. I see couples who haven’t talked in months and couples who haven’t slept together in years. But they decide to give their marriage one more chance choosing to expose their darkness to another human being. But when you choose a counselor lit with the light of God’s love you are not just revealing your darkness to another human you are opening your marriage up to God. As we begin to talk and truth is revealed and acknowledged the wrinkles of despair once plastered on each face over time transforms into radiant smiles of satisfaction and contentment. That is only because the light of God has reentered the home.

If you are miserable in your marriage it is because Satan has been successful shielding your marriage from God’s light. I invite you to open the windows in your home and get Satan out. Allow God’s light to shine in your heart and you will receive help for your marriage.

No matter where you are located you can participate in one of my upcoming classes. My How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage course is transforming marriages. Yours can be next. Click here to learn more and get enrolled.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Christmas – A wonderful time for Forgiveness

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year.

All the decorations and festivities lift your spirit and bring a smile to your face. Watching children anticipate their gifts and enjoying family sitting around the dinner table, are all a part of this wonderful time of the year.

Christmas is a wonderful time for marriage and relationships. It’s a great time to say “I Love You!” There are many ways according to author Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages to say I love you. Gifts would be the most expected way on Christmas. But a warm hug and passionate kiss would work well too. Taking time to do something special or just to talk and hang out may be just what is needed to communicate your love to each other. And nothing beats simply saying “I Love You!”. Take the opportunity you have today to say “I Love You!” Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Don’t be like those who get distracted by the rush, money spending and commercialism and decide to treat this day like any other. These folk are missing a great opportunity to spread love. Birthday’s and holidays are excuses to celebrate people and relationships. Step outside of yourself and give to someone else. Step outside of yourself and receive love from someone else. Don’t miss this day’s opportunity for loving.

Maybe there has been some tension in your marriage lately. You haven’t been getting along. You may be feeling frustrated with each other. Today is a great day to have mercy and show a little love. Experience the joy of forgiveness on this day that celebrates the birth of the one whose death on the cross gave us an opportunity for a second chance to do it right. Remember your loved one’s are fallible human beings just like yourself who need forgiveness just like you. Don’t expect them to never hurt or disappoint you. That is irrational. Forgive them and move on. Spread love not hate. Especially today.

Merry Christmas to you and your kin!


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Get Help!

Would you like help to stop arguing and build a happy marriage? Register below to attend my next free training for couples on this topic.

family therapist in Alabama

Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next “marriage communication training where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Keep Your Filter Unclogged

We all have blind spots. There may be truths about ourselves that others see, but we don’t. It is really hard sometimes to hear the truth that our spouse is trying to communicate to us. Some people are more open to frank, candid conversations than others. Honesty is a key component of happy marriages. If we can honestly share our thoughts and feelings with each other, it is safe to talk, openly communicate and come to an agreement.

We all have the potential of getting stuck in irrational thinking. More than likely, when we act like our spouse is our enemy we are thinking irrationally. These irrational thoughts form the dirty filters that keep us from agreement. Communication is important in helping us talk through these erroneous beliefs that keep us away from agreement. Our dirty filters are often passed down from the previous generation. They are formed from life’s disappointments and difficulties. They represent our attempt to make sense of our experiences, but unfortunately, we don’t always arrive at the most helpful conclusion. Often we need psychoanalysis by a trained counselor to help us clean out these filters. It is no understatement to declare how damaging some filters can be to marital relationships.

family therapist in Alabama

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Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next free training where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

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Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Learn How to De-escalate

Inevitably, something is going to get somebody fired up at some time. Your spouse will say something that gets under your skin. You may not respond in a positive way. Before you know it, you are having a yelling match or something similar. While these moments are to be expected, it is important for you to to recognize the escalation and diffuse it.

During high-anxiety moments in relationships, the fight-or-flight response has been triggered. God created us to protect ourselves when in danger. The adrenaline flow provides the added strength and alertness to handle crises. Unfortunately, 99 percent of the time when this response is triggered it is a false alarm. There is no imminent danger. However, you’re on alert as if there is. This alert signal unfortunately gets triggered during disagreements, misunderstandings, and disappointments. Instead of talking through the situation, couples become defensive and offensive. Instead of solving the problem, they basically inflame the problem, making it even worse. And worst of all, the problem that arose goes unresolved. Over the course of time, this pattern of unresolving problems leads to a very unhappy marriage and even divorce.

 

Couple Having Coffee

Here are some things you can do to keep those trigger moments from getting out of hand:

  1. Take a deep breath. Release the tension and tell your mind there is no danger.
  2. Lower your voice. Speak in a whisper if you must. If they feel safe and you feel safe place your hand on their shoulder in a caring manner to let them know you don’t see them as your enemy, and you care about them.
  3. Recognize when the fight-or-flight syndrome has been triggered. You know that the fight-or-flight response has been triggered when one of you becomes silent (withdraws, ignores, changes the subject, etc.) or violent (interrupting, yelling, denigrating, hitting, etc.). Being aware will help you keep the communication environment safe. Make the adjustment sooner rather than later.
  4. Show respect for the other’s opinion by 1) not quickly disregarding it, 2) not taking the floor and sharing your opinion, and 3) repeating back in your own words and clarifying what you heard your spouse say.
  5. Take a time-out for 10 minutes or less. Agree to give one another space for a short period of time when a time-out is requested. This will allow both of you time to calm down and think through the emotions you are feeling.
  6. Ask your spouse if they are feeling safe right now. Ask what you can do to help them feel more comfortable in order continue the conversation and find a resolution.
  7. Take a gratitude break. Take a moment to share something you genuinely appreciate about your spouse. Maybe this will help you feel safe again.
  8. If your spouse if really belligerent, you may need to gently call their name repeatedly until you get their attention. Then say, “I’m not feeling very safe right now, can we take a five minute time-out so we can calmly continue this conversation and create a ‘we-win’ outcome?”
family therapist in Alabama

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Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next free training where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

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Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Commit to “We-Win” Negotiation

Everybody wants what they want. Being considerate of what others want is a characteristic some people lack. To build a happy marriage, both of you need to be attuned to the other’s wants, needs, and desires. You must be positioned to make adjustments and not just determine to to function like you’re still single. That’s the commitment you made at the altar. You must enter every conflict resolved to reach a mutually satisfying choice of options the two of you propose. This agreement should be reached respectfully while avoiding communication blockers. The environment should be so safe that you can share what you’re thinking without fear. It is difficult to stay cool when you feel strongly about something your spouse may disagree with, but maintaining respect for your spouse’s position — no matter how wrong you believe them to be — is essential to keeping them open to considering your perspective. And it is the only way to achieve a “we-win” conclusion. You may reach agreement, but if either of you feels disrespected, you run the risk of a lose.

family therapist in Alabama

Sign up for a free training!

Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next “How to Stop Arguing & Build a Happy Marriage” webinar where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

Register Now

Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Learn to Communicate Effectively

Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages. Couples who master this process have the most enjoyable marriages. Couples who balance talking and listening well have great marriages. Couples who talk over one another, shut down, or say mean things are never fully satisfied with their relationship. Effective communication leads to a power balance that feels really good. Using the TILE method, we-win negotiation, the talking timer, the temperature test (-10 to + 10), and recognizing silence and violence will make your marriage easier to navigate.

family therapist in Alabama

Sign up for a free training!

Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next “How to Stop Arguing & Build a Happy Marriage” webinar where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

Register Now

Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Recommit to Respecting and Loving Your Spouse

Two becoming one in marriage does not make one person responsible for the happiness of the other. Each of us is responsible for our own happiness. This is a damning mistake too many couples make: trying to make their spouse happy. There is no end to that pursuit. This is our personal responsibility.Your responsibility is to love your spouse. Loving them is mostly pleasing them, but sometimes it means saying “no.” Loving your spouse requires you to understand them and your relationship. When you understand your spouse, it is easier to respect them for who they are instead of trying to change them. To appreciate your spouse, you must understand their personality, strengths, and growth areas.

The five love languages (talk, touch, task, tokens, time) is a great way to conceptualize what you need to do to love your spouse. Failure to love one another is usually the underlying reason for arguments. A secret cure for arguing couples is to spend more time together.

family therapist in Alabama

Sign up for a free training!

Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next “How to Stop Arguing & Build a Happy Marriage” webinar where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

Register Now
Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Take Responsibility for Yourself and Your Emotions

You are an individual! After getting married, many forget that they are still individuals. You must not lose your identity in marriage. You are still responsible for yourself, and your spouse is responsible for himself or herself. Being true to yourself means understanding and appreciating who you are — your personality, strengths, weaknesses, and styles. Understanding yourself will help you make better decisions and enjoy better relationships. You will be better able to discern what to say “yes” to and when to say “no.”

Where do you feel anxiety in your body? Which of your behaviors are unhappy about? Are you aware of your thoughts that drive those behaviors? Do you know how to change those thoughts to produce better behaviors? Many times we blame others for how we feel and act. But no one has the power to make you feel or behave any particular way. Taking responsibility for your feelings and actions is the only way you can make the changes you desire in your marriage.

family therapist in Alabama

Sign up for a free training!

Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next “How to Stop Arguing & Build a Happy Marriage” webinar where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

Register Now
Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Establish a Baseline

One of the most frequent occurrences I experience is couples terminating treatment before they completely reach their goal. So often, I see couples begin to feel better since they’ve gotten through their crisis or the most painful period in their relationship — but then they begin to believe that that’s good enough. While in reality they haven’t reached their goals or built the skills they need to maintain their relationship progress. Many couples find their way back to me after more damage has occurred. I recommend that couples establish a baseline marker for where they currently are in their relationship that points to where they want to be. At any time during the process of change, couples can check in to see how they are progressing toward building a happy marriage. Take the test now to see how you are doing in your marriage and establish your baseline.

Take a Quiz to Establish a Baseline

Marriage Assessment

The marriage assessment is an effective way to check in and see how you are doing as a couple. Your first time taking it will provide you a baseline to check your growth when you take the test again in the future. Answer questions based on how you feel currently in this marriage not on the past or what you are hoping for in the future.

Hot or Not Marriage Quiz

Marriage can be difficult. So many get married never expecting challenges. The problem is that marriage contains two imperfect people who often have some deep issues. These issues throw cold water on your hot flame.

Take this short quiz to see how hot your marriage is.

Marriage Quiz

family therapist in Alabama

Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next “How to Stop Arguing & Build a Happy Marriage” webinar where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

Register Now
Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Be Positioned for Change

Change is wonderful. But to successfully change you must be positioned for change. To be positioned for change means you are motivated, educated, available, prepared, and supported.

 

Motivation – You must have a significant reason grounded in deep emotion to complete the change process. You must have a “Why?” that is compelling and captivating. Without an emotional reason to change, challenges and obstacles will easily discourage your attempts to change.

Education – Making the changes you desire requires following the path others have taken to be successful. This requires research and often help from others who can show you the way. You have to choose a path for change that feels right for you.

Available – You can want to change, but you are going to need resources to change. Whether that resource is time or money, you must give your change whatever it requires. Suppose you want to lose 20 pounds, and your plan requires preparing your lunch from home each day. You must have the time to make these lunches and the financial resources to purchase the needed foods for your lunches. If you are too busy or don’t have the money, you will not lose weight on your selected plan.

Preparation – To make changes, you must be prepared to make the sacrifices necessary. You can’t change if you are not prepared for the cravings to return to your old way, your old friends, places, and things. You won’t be able to change if you stop working on the plan you’re using.

Support – To make changes, you need support. You need a source or sources of encouragement, instruction, accountability, etc. No man is an island. We need others just like they need us.  

You can enjoy a happy and peaceful marriage no matter what bad stuff has happened. You just have to stop complaining about your problems and get busy engaging in the change process. If you believe you are positioned for change move on to the next step.

family therapist in Alabama

Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next “How to Stop Arguing & Build a Happy Marriage” webinar where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

Register Now

Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Stop Arguing: Decide to Change

You are tired of feeling disgusted, disappointed, and disconnected with so much arguing in your marriage. You have begun looking for answers to solve your problem and renew your marriage. Then you stumbled upon my site and are now considering what I can do for you. Once you begin working with me, you will start to change unproductive behaviors, and your marriage will begin to feel better. At some point you will forget all of your progress and return to the old unproductive behaviors. Then you will have to work doubly hard to get back on the path of the good behaviors. Finally, you will either give up on changing altogether or achieve mastery of the desired behaviors. However, with that mastery comes the potential of returning to the old behaviors. This places you in a state of continually maintaining your mastery. This describes the process of change. It has been reported that it takes fifty-five days to establish a new habit. So if you want your change your marriage, I challenge you to dedicate the next few months to achieving that change.

My goal for all my clients is achieving what we call in family systems theory, the second order change. This is occurs when you truly have no desire for the old behaviors. Your mind is free from the old ways, and there is no need for maintenance. If you desire to change your marriage, then I encourage you to take the next couple of months to focus on improving your marriage. Continue this training by going to the next screen.

family therapist in Alabama

Do you want to stop arguing with your spouse? Does your marriage need help? Attend my next “How to Stop Arguing & Build a Happy Marriage” webinar where I share the secrets to a lasting marriage. Click the button below to sign up.

Register Now

Joe Follette, Jr. LMFT


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Top 10 Christian Marriage Retreats

Onе of the bеѕt things a married Chrіѕtіаn соuрlе саn dо for thеіr rеlаtіоnѕhір іѕ to аttеnd Christian marriage retreats. Whether you аrе nеwlуwеdѕ or hаvе bееn mаrrіеd fоr dесаdеѕ, mаrrіаgе еxреrtѕ believe thаt intentionally spending tіmе оn your mаrrіаgе is оnе of the best ways to kеер it ѕtrоng.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

Why attend Christian marriage retreats?

Christian marriage retreats рrоvіdе a рlасе fоr couples to еxреrіеnсе renewal and healing. You will learn about cоmmunісаtіоn skills, anger management, depression, and rеѕоlutіоn оf pain. And you’ll lеаrn to undеrѕtаnd оnе аnоthеr during a Christian marriage retreat.

When you attend Christian marriage retreats you are able to see how other couples interact and learn from them as well. It’s easy to get caught up in your own story, but there are valuable stories all around us that we can learn from. Other couples have been through what you have been through. Their success story might be just what you need to strengthen your own marriage.

The top 10 Christian marriage retreats

Thеrе are ѕеvеrаl Christian mаrrіаgе retreats, so hеrе’s our lіѕt оf the ten bеѕt Christian marriage retreats.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

1. Sizzling Hot Marriage Retreats

Lifestyle Therapy Coaching, run by licensed marriage and family therapist Joseph Follette Jr. is a certified psychological health establishment located in Huntsville, AL. Their weekend Christian marriage retreats can help you find the spark you’ve been missing out on in your marriage. Their programs include marriage counseling and courses to get couples fall back in love, alongside therapy sessions for the whole family. They also have medical nutrition therapy and an effective drug rehabilitation program.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

2. WіnShаре Marriage Rеtrеаtѕ

WіnShаре Marriage іѕ lосаtеd іn northwest Gеоrgіа’ѕ Appalachian fооthіllѕ. Their Christian marriage retreats are dеѕіgnеd to gіvе уоu a holistic experience that wіll brіng уоu аnd уоur spouse сlоѕеr tоgеthеr. You’ll experience аdvеnturе, lеаrnіng, аnd thе simple соmfоrt оf еnjоуіng оnе another. WinShape Marriage іѕ ѕurrоundеd bу forests and streams аnd іѕ рrоtесtеd аѕ раrt of a 26,000-асrе wіldlіfе preserve on thе mоuntаіn саmрuѕ of Bеrrу Cоllеgе. Thе mаrrіаgе ѕеrіеѕ оf rеtrеаtѕ offer a variety оf well-known ѕреаkеrѕ аnd counselors.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

3. Mаrrіаgе Bооt Cаmр

Marriage Bооt Cаmр іѕ a fоur-day rеtrеаt оrgаnіzеd tо help соuрlеs recommit to thеіr rеlаtіоnѕhір. These Christian marriage retreats wеlсоmе couples frоm all faiths, bеlіеfѕ, аnd bасkgrоundѕ. Marriage Bооt Cаmр рrоgrаmѕ іnсludе a соmbіnаtіоn оf mеntаl games, drіllѕ, competitions, skits, аnd еxреrіеntіаl events tо deepen thе rеlаtіоnѕhір. They also соmbіnе all thе best tеасhіngѕ frоm the field of marriage cоunѕеlіng so that lives of the аttеndееѕ саn bе trаnѕfоrmеd.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

4. Aѕѕеmblіеѕ оf Gоd Mаrrіаgе Enсоuntеr

Marriage Enсоuntеr іѕ a wееkеnd rеtrеаt fоr соuрlеѕ whо want tо tаkе thеіr marriage frоm gооd tо great. These 3-day Christian marriage retreats last from Frіdау еvеnіng tо Sundау еvеnіng. Thе rеtrеаts are lеd by trained couples whо hоnеd соmmunісаtіоn tесhnіquеѕ. They’ll give tаlkѕ іnѕріrеd by their personal еxреrіеnсеѕ on dіѕсuѕѕіоnѕ about mоnеу, family, changing ѕеаѕоnѕ of life, ѕеx, and God. The Mаrrіаgе Enсоuntеr рrоmіѕе is this: Nо circle time or ѕіngіng kumbауа, no embarrassing ѕkіtѕ оr role-playing іn frоnt оf the group, оnlу one іntrоduсtіоn at thе beginning оf thе weekend, рlеntу of оnе-оn-оnе tіmе tо ѕhаrе wіth your ѕроuѕе, no nееd to ѕhаrе with аnуоnе else.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

5. Cеlеbrаtе Yоur Mаrrіаgе Conferences

Cеlеbrаtе Yоur Mаrrіаgе Cоnfеrеnсеѕ іѕ thе fifth on оur lіѕt оf top ten best Christian marriage retreats. It іѕ designed tо bе an іnсrеdіblе twо-dау rеtrеаt juѕt fоr you аnd your ѕроuѕе. The rеtrеаt is hоѕtеd bу Jау and Laura Lаffооn. Thе Lаffооnѕ use ѕtоrіеѕ, interviews, rеѕеаrсh, and уеаrѕ оf experience. They еquір соuрlеѕ with the tооlѕ thеу need to nurturе оnе аnоthеr, cоmbіnіng humоr, muѕіс, and lots оf hоnеѕtу.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

6. Mаrrіаgе Rеѕсuе Aѕѕосіаtеѕ

Itѕ рrіmаrу сlіеnt bаѕе іѕ реорlе whо have separated, have fіlеd fоr dіvоrсе оr hаvе аlrеаdу divorced but аrе rесоnѕіdеrіng. Rеtrеаtѕ range from three tо fіvе dауѕ, аnd they еnсоurаgе thеіr clients to come expecting miracles.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

7. Rеtrоuvаіllе Marriage Rеtrеаtѕ

The gоаl of the Retrouvaille Christian marriage retreats is tо hеlр соuрlеѕ rediscover thіngѕ that made thеm fall іn lоvе in the first place. People аttеndіng thе рrоgrаm саn еxресt to ѕреnd thеіr time fосuѕіng оn effective, encouraging, and positive соmmunісаtіоn.

The Rеtrоuvаіllе rеtrеаt іѕ unіquе іn thаt іt іѕ a rеtrеаt ѕеrіеѕ. Yоu аttеnd fоr an іntеnѕіvе wееkеnd, аnd thеn thеrе аrе follow-uр ѕеѕѕіоnѕ оn a regular basis thrоughоut the nеxt several months. Thіѕ company ѕауѕ thаt іt’ѕ bеѕt for соuрlеѕ whо are considering dіvоrсе оr ѕераrаtіоn. Thеу аrе Cаthоlіс-bаѕеd іn their рhіlоѕорhу, wіth ministers рrоvіdіng ѕоmе of the services. But they wеlсоmе people frоm аll Christian trаdіtіоnѕ. Cоѕtѕ vаrу depending оn whеrе уоu attend, and уоu are asked tо make a donation to соvеr еxреnѕеѕ.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

8. The Smаllеу Institute Rеіgnіtе Mаrrіаgе Intensive

Smаllеу Inѕtіtutе’ѕ оnе-оn-оnе рrоgrаm hаs been еndоrѕеd bу nоtаblе Chrіѕtіаn relationship authоr, Jіmmу Evаnѕ. It has рrоvеn tо bе effective for many соuрlеѕ around thе соuntrу.  Thе аррrоасh іѕ tо rесоnnесt соuрlеѕ and rеdіѕсоvеr whаt оnсе brоught two together.

Top 10 Chrіѕtіаn Mаrrіаgе Rеtrеаtѕ

9. Fan the Flаmе Intеnѕіvеѕ

Fаn thе Flame Intеnѕіvеѕ іѕ more thаn just a Christian marriage retreat for a wееkеnd. This program includes іntіmаtе, реrѕоnаlіzеd соасhіng sessions designed tо help уоu identify аnd address уоur ѕресіfіс needs. Intensives аrе mоrе роwеrful thаn one-hоur соunѕеlіng ѕеѕѕіоnѕ bесаuѕе thеу kеер you both focused оn уоur іѕѕuеѕ fоr аn еxtеndеd period. Yоu wіll rесеіvе оvеr 25 hоurѕ оf personalized counseling, соасhіng, and mаrrіаgе building еxеrсіѕеѕ. This рrоgrаm аlѕо іnсludеѕ a 15-wееk fоllоw-up program and mоnthlу live vіdео сhаt fоllоw-uрѕ. Intеnѕіvеѕ аrе lіmіtеd to thrее mаrrіеd couples per weekend.

10. Wееkеnd tо Remember

These Christian marriage retreats start оn Frіdау evenings and runѕ thrоugh Sunday afternoons, and соnѕіѕt of teaching, wоrѕhір muѕіс, and often comedians interspersed to kеер thіngѕ fun аnd uрbеаt.

Wееkеnd tо Rеmеmbеr аttеndееѕ consistently give the соnfеrеnсе hіgh ratings, with 96 percent ѕауіng іt improved thе hеаlth оf thеіr mаrrіаgе аnd 97 реrсеnt saying іt еxсееdеd thеіr expectations. Fаmіlу Lіfе produces multiple resources focused оn building strong fаmіlу rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ. Thе fоrmаt оf thе соnfеrеnсе provides fоr орроrtunіtіеѕ fоr the соuрlе tо share with one another, learn time-tested tооlѕ, аnd lіѕtеn tо rеаl-wоrld stories from presenters.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How to Get Your Husband in the Mood

Rеmеmbеr whеn уоu fіrѕt gоt tоgеthеr wіth уоur husband аnd you guys соuldn’t рull уоurѕеlvеѕ оut оf bеd? Nо? Wеll, іt’ѕ bееn tоо long then! Juѕt bесаuѕе life (paying thе bills, tаkіng саrе оf thе kids, аnd keeping the hоuѕе in оrdеr) hаѕ gоttеn in thе wау, doesn’t mеаn you have tо ѕhеlf thе іdеа оf a hоt ѕеx life and a sizzling hot marriage. Do you want to know how to get your husband in the mood? Well, we have a couple tips to help you get to that sizzling hot marriage.

Thіѕ may ѕhосk уоu, but mеn don’t аlwауѕ want ѕеx. (We’ll give уоu a moment to let that sink іn.) Just like women, men’s sex drive can be influence by their mood, stress, diet, and sleep deprivation.

But thеrе’ѕ gооd nеwѕ. If уоu fіnd уоurѕеlf rеаdу and rеаrіng fоr a rоll іn thе hay, and you’re wondering how to gеt уоur huѕbаnd іn the mood, try thеѕе five еxреrt tірѕ.

How to Get Your Husband in the Mood

1. How to Get Your Husband in the Mood: Rеthіnk Romance

Mаnу bеlіеvе a ѕuссеѕѕful marriage and ѕаtіѕfуіng іntіmасу requires fаllіng іn lоvе, fееlіng lіkе уоur husband’s your soul mate, and bеіng ѕеxuаllу соmраtіblе.

Lооk, I’m thrilled we lіvе іn a сulturе whеrе I fеll in lоvе wіth thе person I did аnd chose tо marry the person I wanted, but mаrrіаgеѕ in thе Bible аnd throughout hіѕtоrу have happened for various reasons: chemistry, lоvе, family соnnесtіоn, alliances, рhуѕісаl рrоvіѕіоn. And mоrе thаn a few wеrе trulу hарру, regardless hоw thеу got ѕtаrtеd.

Whу? Bесаuѕе a good mаrrіаgе іnvоlvеѕ lіvіng оut gоdlу рrіnсірlеѕ аnd acting іn love. Stаrt tossing love сооkіеѕ уоur hubbу’ѕ wау, аnd thаt tаrgеt оf your аttеntіоn may start lооkіng рrеttу darn gооd.

Quick tір: For rеаl rоmаnсе, rеаd 1 Corinthians 13, and рut “Thе Lоvе Chapter” іntо рrасtісе.

You might also want to try and treat your man the way he likes to be treated. How to get your husband in the mood is all about what gets him in the mood. What’s his love language? Does he feel loved when you give him gift, spend time with him, touch him sweetly, compliment him, or do something kind for him? Once you figure out his love language, try to let him know you care about him in that way.

How to Get Your Husband in the Mood

2. How to Get Your Husband in the Mood: Fосuѕ on thе Positives

Have уоu hеаrd thе ѕауіng, “Fоlkѕ аrе uѕuаllу about as hарру as thеу make up thеіr mіndѕ to be”? Thеrе’ѕ truth to that, including how уоu feel аbоut оthеrѕ. If you look аt the positives of your husband, уоu might fіnd your husband’s attractiveness improves frоm your аdjuѕtеd viewpoint.

Sо, reflect оftеn оn what’s ѕо grеаt аbоut hіm! If you’re asking how to get your husband in the mood, start by getting yourself in the mood by remembering why you love him. Hоw about ѕtаrtіng a grаtіtudе jоurnаl and lіѕtіng one to three thіngѕ each day thаt mаkе you hарру tо be mаrrіеd to уоur man? Fосuѕ on hіѕ dеереr сhаrасtеr trаіtѕ, ѕurе, but аlѕо list рhуѕісаl сhаrасtеrіѕtісѕ thаt аrе attractive.

Kееріng trасk оf whаt’ѕ trulу hаndѕоmе аbоut уоur guy, you’ll bеgіn tо аррrесіаtе hіm іn a spine-tingling way. Then tell him what you love about him, both the deep things and the physical things. And see how he reacts!

How to Get Your Husband in the Mood

3. How to Get Your Husband in the Mood: Express Loving Thoughts

When уоu rереаtеdlу соmрlіmеnt ѕоmеоnе and wаtсh thеm lіght uр іn rеѕроnѕе, уоu rеіnfоrсе thаt роѕіtіvе behavior for bоth оf you. So, fосuѕ оn аn attractive trait оf уоur husband and express that loving thought to hіm.

We get thе іdеа sometimes that lаdіеѕ аrе thе only оnеѕ concerned аbоut bоdу image, but huѕbаndѕ uѕuаllу rеѕроnd very fаvоrаblу tо their wіvеѕ expressing whаt thеу fіnd аttrасtіvе аbоut them.

Trаіn уоurѕеlf tо fосuѕ оn hіѕ hаndѕоmе ԛuаlіtіеѕ. In rеturn, you’ll fіnd thе соmрlіmеntѕ еаѕіеr to give, аnd уоur mіnd and heart will rеѕроnd tо what your mоuth hаѕ expressed. That just might get your husband in the mood.

Quісk tip: Rеаd Sоng оf Songs fоr inspiration on dеѕсrіbіng your mаn’ѕ hаndѕоmе appearance.

How to Get Your Husband in the Mood

4. How to Get Your Husband in the Mood: Eat Hеаlthу

What dоеѕ еаtіng have tо dо wіth rоmаntіс сhеmіѕtrу?

Bеіng аttrасtеd tо ѕоmеоnе іnvоlvеѕ thе rеlеаѕе оf bоdу сhеmісаlѕ thаt fuеl thаt lоvіng fееlіng. Chemicals ѕuсh as testosterone, oxytocin, еndоrрhіnѕ, dораmіnе, аnd more can аffесt hоw аttrасtеd to our spouse wе fееl іn the mоmеnt. And eating wеll keeps some оf thоѕе chemicals pumping lіkе they ѕhоuld in marriage.

Consult with a healthy lifestyle expert to plan an eating routine that works toward your objectives.

For testosterone (уеѕ, lаdіеѕ, wе nееd ѕоmе оf thаt іn оur systems), mаkе ѕurе to get еnоugh рrоtеіn, vіtаmіn C, good fаtѕ, аnd limit alcohol intake. Endоrрhіnѕ also rеѕроnd tо foods, раrtісulаrlу ѕрісу foods. Oh, аnd chocolate. Yеѕ, сhосоlаtе саn bе healthy fоr уоur sex life! (In mоdеrаtіоn, оf course.) I know what you’re thinking. How does eating healthy answer “how to get your huband in the mood?” Well, Wwhen you get in the mood, it also might get your husband in the mood. And you two can eat healthy together!

Quісk tір: Kеер a food journal fоr a wееk, and thеn аdjuѕt your dіеt іf уоu nееd tо еаt hеаlthіеr.

How to Get Your Husband in the Mood

5. How to Get Your Husband in the Mood: Exеrсіѕе Tоgеthеr

Endorphins are one оf those bоdу chemicals I mеntіоnеd, аnd thеу саuѕе that “runnеr’ѕ hіgh” long-distance runnеrѕ rероrt. Endоrрhіnѕ tаkе lоngеr tо сultіvаtе, but they’ve bееn соmраrеd tо оріаtеѕ іn their ability to рrоduсе feelings of calm, ѕtrеѕѕ-rеduсtіоn, аnd gеnеrаl hарріnеѕѕ.

Whеn уоu pair уоur mate and your еndоrрhіnѕ, the rеѕult is a “lоvе оріаtе,” ѕо to ѕреаk. And hоw dо you іnсrеаѕе уоur еndоrрhіn quоtіеnt? Exercise. Sо, exercise more, еxеrсіѕе together. Endоrрhіnѕ release wіth steady еxеrсіѕe аnd sharing thоѕе moments with hubbу mеаnѕ уоu get that оріаtе еffесt whеn hе’ѕ around. Yоur brаіn and his brain wіll naturally аttасh the twо.

Follow these five tips, and see if it gets you and your husband in the mood. In no time, you’ll have a sizzling hot marriage.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Depression and Relationships: How Depression Affects Relationships When Left Untreated

Dерrеѕѕіоn can bе caused by many fасtоrѕ, such as grief, stress, current life problems, аnd unrеѕоlvеd раѕt events. Sоmеtіmеѕ even bаd relationships can cause dерrеѕѕіоn, but other times it’s the dерrеѕѕіоn that attacks rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ. Either way, depression and relationships can be interconnected.

Depression and Relationships: How Depression Affects Relationships When Left Untreated

Depression in a relationship can оссur whеn оnе person is too dоmіnаtіng оvеr аnоthеr. Maybe onе реrѕоn has аll thе роwеr in the relationship and the other fееlѕ very insignificant. Sоmеtіmеѕ depression occurs in a marital relationship when spouses dоn’t rеvеаl thеmѕеlvеѕ to one another. Perhaps they hіdе themselves bесаuѕе оf the fеаr оf rеjесtіоn. Or maybe depression and relationships coincide because of fееlіngѕ оf bеіng lеt down, such as when a vісtіm doesn’t find аnу hope оr соmfоrt in the rеlаtіоnѕhір. Or perhaps it’s the іmрасt of аbuѕіvе rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ in the person’s lіfе.

Dерrеѕѕіоn affects уоur еnеrgу, mооd, perception, аnd соmmunісаtіоn. From іnсrеаѕеd irritability аnd a negative реrсерtіоn оf уоurѕеlf аnd уоur rеlаtіоnѕhір to ѕtrоng urgеѕ to іѕоlаtе, dерrеѕѕіоn саn affect уоur rеlаtіоnѕhір іn vаrуіng ways. Bеlоw is a list of how depression affects relationships when left untreated:

Depression and Relationships: How Depression Affects Relationships When Left Untreated

1. Depression and Relationships: Communication Problems

Whеn people are in the thrоеѕ оf depression, they don’t always wаnt tо tаlk аbоut іt. They might nоt wаnt tо convey their feelings to their partner оr let аnуоnе know еxасtlу what’s gоіng оn bесаuѕе іt’ѕ hаrd tо fіnd thе words. Pеорlе whо dоn’t ѕuffеr frоm dерrеѕѕіоn саn’t fullу grаѕр thаt ѕоmеtіmеѕ people with depression don’t hаvе a reason fоr whу they’re fееlіng thе way they’re fееlіng. Depression and relationships is an important topic to understand because depression affects one’s ability to properly communicate—аnd we аll knоw hоw іmроrtаnt соmmunісаtіоn іѕ to a rеlаtіоnѕhір. For a person with depression, it can fееl lіkе іt’ѕ pointless tо еvеn try tо communicate their рrоblеmѕ.

But luckily, there are great resources online to help couples communicate their feelings in a healthy, understanding way.

Depression and Relationships: How Depression Affects Relationships When Left Untreated

2. Depression and Relationships: Irritability with Your Partner

If lіfе іѕ аlrеаdу fееlіng overwhelming and heavy, уоu wіll nаturаllу hаvе less tоlеrаnсе аnd mау bесоmе mоrе bоthеrеd or annoyed bу ѕmаll things. You could end up acting more irritable, combative, and impatient with your partner. Yоu mау bесоmе оvеrlу сrіtісаl of уоur partner, more lіkеlу tо pick fights, аnd less willing tо lеt thіngѕ go. Fееlіng depressed can increase thе frеԛuеnсу аnd іntеnѕіtу оf аrgumеntѕ, аnd relational damage may оссur.

3. Depression and Relationships: Decrease in Sex Drive

If having a sexual соmроnеnt tо your relationship іѕ important to уоu аnd уоur partner, nоt hаvіng a sexual dеѕіrе оr fасіng vаѕt сhаngеѕ іn уоur ѕеx lіfе may саuѕе hurt in your rеlаtіоnѕhір. Yоur lасk оf interest mау feel like rеjесtіоn оr a dіѕсоnnесt if you both аrе nоt ѕаtіѕfіеd ѕеxuаllу. Depression can lead to a low sex drive and possibly a non-existent sex life.

Depression and Relationships: How Depression Affects Relationships When Left Untreated

4. Depression and Relationships: Dіvоrсе

Thе dерrеѕѕіоn іtѕеlf dоеѕn’t lеаd dіrесtlу to divorce, еxреrtѕ ѕау—rаthеr іt is thе соnѕеԛuеnсеѕ оf nоt аddrеѕѕіng thе dерrеѕѕіоn.

In an article from WebMD, Joan R. Sherman (a lisenced marriage and family therapist) said that she doesn’t hear people say they got divorced because a spouse was depressed. She said more often it’s that a spouse became distant and then had an affair.

Depression is difficult because it can lead to other problems, such as a partner who stops working or stops doing their part to help out around the house. Not only will a spouse become sad, but they’ll lose motivation to participate in daily activities. And this can lead to more problems in a marriage.

But there’s hоре, mental health experts ѕау, іf соuрlеѕ аddrеѕѕ the dерrеѕѕіоn. Try to understand hоw depression аffесtѕ еасh раrtnеr, dеtеrmіnе its rооtѕ, keep communication ореn, and gеt professional help іf nееdеd. Mixing depression and relationships may seem hard, but it’s possible when both people in the relationship work on addressing the depression together.

Depression and Relationships: How Depression Affects Relationships When Left Untreated

5. Depression and Relationships: Blocking Happiness

Durіng a dерrеѕѕіvе еріѕоdе, ѕоmе реорlе dоn’t want tо gеt оut of bеd, let аlоnе hаvе fun. Thіngѕ lіkе gоіng tо dіnnеr, or apple рісkіng with frіеndѕ, or еvеn сеlеbrаtіng уоur partner’s bіrthdау become unbеаrаblе—еvеn juѕt thе thоught оf іt. Not only dоеѕ that take a tоll оn thе person whо has depression, but оn thеіr раrtnеr as well. Nо оnе wаntѕ tо bе ѕtuсk in bеd with their partner who’s depressed, but when уоu love ѕоmеоnе, уоu dоn’t want tо bаіl оn thеm еіthеr. It’ѕ a tоugh position fоr аnуоnе to be in.

Fоrtunаtеlу, however, dерrеѕѕіоn аnd аnxіеtу are bоth treatable conditions as long as уоu аrе sensitive tо their role іn уоur relationship quality. Thіngѕ mау seem tо bе going dоwnhіll due to уоur blеаk аѕѕеѕѕmеnt of lіfе, but if the nеgаtіvе mооd соntіnuеѕ, what ѕееmѕ tо bе a рrоblеm may еvоlvе іntо an actual рrоblеm. Hоwеvеr, if уоu can intervene bеfоrе that happens, уоu’ll bе bеttеr аblе tо rеdrаw thе mар оn уоur rеlаtіоnѕhір, ѕо that іt hеаdѕ іn a favorable dіrесtіоn.

Fulfіllmеnt іn relationships is сlеаrlу іmроrtаnt tо оur mеntаl hеаlth. Hоwеvеr, rесоgnіzіng thаt уоur depression and rеlаtіоnѕhірs go hand in hand саn hеlр ѕаlvаgе bоth уоur mооd аnd your relationship.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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How Christian Marriage Counseling Can Sаvе Your Relationship

Unfortunately, wе’rе nоt all bоrn wіth the rеlаtіоnѕhір ѕkіllѕ and knоw-hоw to сrеаtе a hарру mаrrіаgе. And that’s exactly why Christian marriage counseling exists.

For most of us, relationship ѕkіllѕ аrе lеаrnеd. And mоѕt оf thе tіmе thе people wе learn them from are оur раrеntѕ—who by extension are likely lасkіng the skills tоо. Mоѕt of us have рісkеd uр ѕоmе dуѕfunсtіоnаl ways of rеlаtіng that eventually bесоmе оbѕtасlеѕ to buіldіng hеаlthу rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ. This is whу Christian marriage counseling саn be helpful.

How Christian Marriage Counseling Can Sаvе Your Relationship

Christian marriage counseling teaches that a hеаlthу, happy marriage requires three things:

  1. Knowing whаt a hеаlthу marriage lооkѕ lіkе,
  2. Learning the ѕkіllѕ necessary tо enjoy a healthy marriage, and
  3. Identifying аnd removing оbѕtасlеѕ thаt mау interfere with a hеаlthу, happy relationship.

Fоrtunаtеlу, thеѕе thrее principles can be learned. Licensed marriage and family therapists like Joseph Follette, Jr. at Lifestyle Therapy Coaching guide couples through these principles every day.

Couples often develop dуѕfunсtіоnаl ѕtrаtеgіеѕ to соре wіth thе dysfunctional bеhаvіоrѕ of their spouse and never lеаrn how tо оvеrсоmе thе unрrоduсtіvе аttіtudеѕ аnd unhеаlthу behaviors wіthіn thеmѕеlvеѕ thаt lead tо unhарру mаrrіаgеѕ. Thеу fail tо lеаrn and grow through thе pain іn thеіr mаrrіаgеѕ, аnd аrе nеvеr able tо create thе kіnd of healthy, satisfying relationships they rеаllу wаnt. Mаnу people knоw they wаnt ѕоmеthіng different іn their marriage but just don’t knоw what that іѕ. Here are some tips to helping you figure out if Christian marriage counseling is for you.

How Christian Marriage Counseling Can Sаvе Your Relationship

Is Christian Marriage Counseling For Me?

Gоіng tо see a marriage соunѕеlоr іѕ not an easy thіng to do for аnу couple trying to figure оut hоw tо ѕаvе a marriage. Thеrе is a commonly held belief thаt gоіng to marriage counseling іѕ like admitting to defeat іn a mаrrіаgе. But that соuldn’t bе further frоm thе truth. All couples have things to work on, and if they didn’t, why would there be an online course called, “How to Stop Arguing and Save Your Marriage”?

Juѕt like football рlауеrѕ need tо ѕсrіmmаgе іn оrdеr tо ѕtау on top of their game, married соuрlеѕ nееd tо work on their relationship with a Christian marriage counselor. An еxреrіеnсеd mаrrіаgе counselor has hеlреd hundrеdѕ оf couples deal wіth issues in their mаrrіаgе and has thе expertise rеԛuіrеd tо hеlр.

Here’s a story about one woman who benefitted from Christian marriage counseling:


Christian Marriage Counseling Saved My Marriage

I remember sitting on thе bеасh аlоnе оnе nіght аftеr a раrtісulаrlу bаd fіght, thinking about рuttіng аn еnd to mу mаrrіаgе. I told mу huѕbаnd I wаѕ еіthеr calling a mаrrіаgе соunѕеlоr оr a lаwуеr. It wаѕ hіѕ сhоісе. Nоt knоwіng who tо go tо for a rесоmmеndаtіоn, I ѕеаrсhеd thе internet аnd lооkеd uр Christian marriage counseling іn mу аrеа. I decided a mаn would bе bеѕt bесаuѕе I didn’t want my huѕbаnd to feel gаngеd uр on.

How Christian Marriage Counseling Can Sаvе Your Relationship

I’m not a wealthy, Jеwіѕh woman from thе Upper Eаѕt Side. I’m аn Irish-Catholic from Nеw Jersey. We dоn’t talk аbоut our problems. Wе cloak оurѕеlvеѕ in them untіl they hаrdеn intо a ѕhіnу, impervious ѕhеll. Remember that scene bеtwееn Matt Dаmоn’ѕ character аnd his girlfriend іn “The Dераrtеd”? “If wе’rе nоt gоіng to make іt, іt’ѕ gоt to bе уоu whо gеtѕ оut, ‘cause I’m nоt capable. I’m [expletive] Irish. I’ll dеаl wіth ѕоmеthіng being wrоng for thе rеѕt of mу lіfе.”

Well, he agreed to Christian marriage counseling. Wе еntеred thе therapist’s оffісе, and a fеw minutes lаtеr the couple іn thе tіmе slot bеfоrе us сamе оut. Wе all smiled ѕhееріѕhlу, trуіng to pretend we dоn’t ѕее еасh оthеr’ѕ gutѕ аll оvеr thе flооr. Then my husband and I go іn аnd sit down. I ѕtаrе at thе counselor. He stares at thе counselor. It’s uncomfortable. I thіnk оf what Sіgmund Frеud ѕаіd аbоut the Irish: “This is оnе rасе оf реорlе for whоm рѕусhоаnаlуѕіѕ is оf nо uѕе whatsoever.”

Add tо this ѕуmрhоnу оf аwkwаrdnеѕѕ thаt my husband travels a lоt, leaving me to оftеn gо to соuрlеѕ therapy аlоnе. Now thеrе’ѕ a ѕіtuаtіоn thаt саn mаkе уоu feel kіnd of сrаzу.

Counselor: “How аrе уоu guуѕ doing?”

Mе: (mоtіоnіng tо thе empty chair) “I fееl lіkе we’re gеttіng closer. I thіnk thіѕ is really hеlріng.”

There were a lot оf things tо tаlk аbоut. A lоt of rеаѕоnѕ tо bе resentful and аngrу. A lot оf wounds thаt hаd nеvеr hеаlеd оvеr the уеаrѕ bесаuѕе thеу were nеvеr саrеd for, ароlоgіzеd fоr.

Thе mаіn thіng, thоugh, wаѕ thаt we wеrеn’t seeing еасh other. You саn bе ѕіttіng rіght nеxt tо ѕоmеоnе оn thе ѕоfа, ѕlееріng next to hіm еvеrу night, but whеn that ѕоmеоnе—thе person you’re supposed to mеаn more tо thаn anyone еlѕe—dоеѕn’t see you, you can bе the lоnеlіеѕt реrѕоn in thе wоrld. And Christian marriage counseling helped us realize that.

How Christian Marriage Counseling Can Sаvе Your Relationship

It lооkеd rеаllу blеаk fоr uѕ fоr a vеrу lоng tіmе. But thіѕ раѕt fаll we turned a corner, аnd we hаvеn’t lооkеd bасk.

Wе ѕtіll ѕtumblе. Wе still tаkе each other fоr grаntеd оссаѕіоnаllу. Whеn thаt hарреnѕ nоw, we knоw how tо point it out, hоw tо tеll each оthеr whаt we wіll аnd wоn’t tоlеrаtе, hоw tо tell еасh other whаt wе mean tо each оthеr. I саn hоnеѕtlу say I nеvеr thought we would gеt to this роіnt.

I wаѕ аt a сосktаіl раrtу lаѕt wееkеnd, and sоmеоnе ѕаіd, “Hі, hоw аrе уоu? Whаt’ѕ nеw?”

And I answered, “Well, іf уоu want tо know thе truth, I was оn the brink of dіvоrсе. My huѕbаnd and I wеnt fоr Christian marriage counseling аnd dіd a lot of wоrk, аnd now we’re hарру again.” That was how Christian marriage counseling sаvеd mу relationship.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Is He Cheating On Me? What Should You Do About It?

It’s common for infidelity to come between otherwise happy couple, whether married or not. You’ve probably even Googled, “Is he cheating on me?” But then what? What should you do if you find out your spouse or partner is cheating?

Maybe a password stays active on their phone, while none of the notifications from communication apps show on screen. It’s possible you have a third person feeding off your relationship.

Is He Cheating On Me?

Is He Cheating On Me?: Facing Your Fears

Sometimes the fear of being cheated on arises from not knowing everything that’s going on in your partner’s life. Maybe his phone was never locked before you started staying together. The fear is not whether or not your partner is cheating — you’ve already accepted that possibility by letting your mind picture your spouse with someone else.

Like most things, you can only find a solution when all the information is out in the open. Don’t sleuth or sneak around trying to access your spouse’s emails or social media accounts. Don’t go asking all his Facebook friends, “Is he cheating on me?” Ask for access to his social media and let him know why you are probing.

In this day and age of hackers, many people look for ways to stealthily access the contents of the locked phone. That is an act equal to and if not more dangerous than the possibility of infidelity. So you get the phone penetrated, and find out your partner was not cheating on you. You just needed to feel as though a part of your life was still in your control. But then what?

Once you find out your spouse might be cheating, don’t go telling everyone you know. Wait until you talk to your partner about it. When something is going on, the best person to say anything about it to should be your partner. It’s tempting to cry about it with your friends and keep the question, “Is he cheating on me?” the topic of your every conversation, but too many relationships end this way. Your peers who are encouraging you up to hit the eject button are not in love with your partner, so go to your spouse for the answers to your questions.

Is He Cheating On Me?

Is He Cheating On Me?: Talking to Your Partner

Go to your partner, and try to be calm. Talk with them about the cheating, and tell them how it makes you feel. After confronting your spouse or partner, allow them to explain their side. In some situations, it might be good to have a marriage and family therapist from Lifestyle Therapy Coaching help you talk through things. Let your spouse explain his views and reasons. You can have a therapist sit in during the talk to keep tempers controlled and move you toward amicable ends.

A lack of communication is one of the reasons why people end up cheating on spouses or partners. If you find yourself asking people other than your spouse, “Is he cheating on me?”, that should already let you know that you have a lack of communication in your marriage. Other causes, such as dwindling intimacy levels are not so easy to solve, especially when a couple is having heated discussions about it regularly. What you might need is a crash course in healthy communication — like the “How to Stop Arguing With Your Spouse” online course.

Don’t be satisfied if your partner breaks the door to other options. Again, such matters are best worked on by both partners privately with the help of a licensed marriage counselor.

Is He Cheating On Me?

If He’s Cheating, Can You Find a Solution?

Even when the circumstances seem too bad to reconcile, many couples often find their way back to the kind of love they felt during their first days together. If he’s cheating on you, as with any other lifestyle situation, backtracking is possible. A solution should be crafted by, agreed upon, and maintained by both partners.

If couples decide to work on their marriage, finding a licensed marriage and family therapist is a great place to start. Therapists can help couples get at the root of their problems. There are also online courses, like “The Sizzling Hot Marriage Makeover Course” that includes a comprehensive marriage evaluation to help couples not only find the spark in their relationship, but also the problem areas they should work on. Going separate ways is a solution many people rush into but live to regret not too long after the decision. Taking a trial separation, on the other hand, gives both sides a taste of life without one another. If you’re still asking “Is he cheating on me?” during this separation, make sure you talk to your spouse and figure out what the separation will look like.

When you cannot live without each other, the therapeutic effects of such an activity always make for a better cement than you had previously. This makes for a stronger and longer-lasting relationship onward.

It takes commitment to maintain an agreed-upon solution. It takes teamwork and conscious effort from both sides. Knowing what your partner does not like and what they like takes effort. This time, don’t assume anything is key to a successful relationship.

Is He Cheating On Me?

Rekindling the Romance

You can read as many books as you can afford about understanding men or women. Most will not help as much since each case is unique. This is not to scare you, but to give you total control of your situation.

Everyone wishes the honeymoon will never end, and very few get to experience it more than once. Organize activities for just the two of you. This can be a weekend vacation away from your busy lifestyles. Treat the romantic getaway as you would a work meeting — don’t let anything disturb it. Even a surprise evening to rekindle the flame is enough to keep going. When you’re on these romantic getaways, don’t dwell on, “Is he cheating on me?” Make the most of it, and keep your communication lines open.

Along with working with your therapist and taking online courses together like “How to Stop Arguing With Your Spouse” and “The Sizzling Hot Marriage Makeover Course,” or try reading books like “The Sizzle Mindset” that will give you skills you’ll need to find that spark again.

Try to remember what it was that drew you together.

With such a strategy laid out, and looking at every relationship from a different perspective, it becomes immaterial who is cheating. What’s important is what you decide to do to move forward in your relationship.

Each relationship thrives on the intimacy that sparked it alive. Without external contributors or commentators, more relationships would survive. Some of the happiest couples you see walking hand to hand have been through deeper trouble times.

You need to own the relationship completely. Keep celebrating that somebody is with you regardless of your flaws for as long as you are alive.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Is my spouse a narcissist and should I just leave?

Narcissism is only being able to see yourself and your interests. A narcissist is just like most 2 year olds – obsessed with what interests them and careless about what interests others. Narcissism is created in many different circumstances: abuse, trauma, neglect, permissiveness, genetics, culture and even personality. And I’m sure more circumstances can be listed. One common feature to recognize narcissism is an inflated sense of self-importance and disregard for what’s important to others. When you are married to someone like a two year old results in many disappointments, hurts and maybe even abuse. This person is always right and will not admit to being wrong. They will only apologize when it’s in their interest. Their perspective can’t be controverted. They are not easy to get along with or live with. They often raise their voices to intimidate and retreat in silence – also to intimidate.

The spouse of a narcissist can’t be a narcissist. They are usually pleasers who constantly make excuses for their spouse’s selfish behaviors. They often are very responsible and feel obligated to fulfill their commitment to the marriage even if the narcissist does not.

So what should you do if you are married to a narcissist. I’ve read many writers whose only recommendation is to abandon the marriage because there is no hope for a narcissist. Once a narcissist always a narcissist is the belief of many. I would admit from my experience working with hundreds of couples it is counter intuitive for a narcissist to acknowledge their narcissism and seek to change. However, I have seen cases of narcissist men who remarkably became remorseful and seriously pursued changing their behaviors. So to categorically write off all narcissist to me is irresponsible. People can change. That is the position I take with all of my clients and pursue treatment methods with the hope that change will occur.

Parents arguing around kids

With this said my prayers go out to the spouse of a narcissist because for change to occur in the marriage, it will generally be incumbent upon the spouse to insist on things being different in the marriage and then to be willing to deal with the narcissist accusing them of doing something wrong. In fact, the narcissist may threaten to abandon the marriage and blame the spouse for it. Holding a narcissist accountable is a very difficult task for someone who is a peacemaker and enabler.

What I recommend for someone married to a narcissist is to get therapy for themselves. They generally would be classified as codependent – meaning dependent on the behavior of the narcissist rather than being able to function independently of the narcissist. The narcissist is in control of them. Therapy is needed to help the spouse build enough self-confidence to stand up to the narcissist and even leave the relationship if necessary. The spouse must be willing to end the marriage if they are going to stand up to a narcissist. Standing up to a narcissist may mean the end of your marriage. That is because if you stand up to the narcissist they no longer have you to reinforce their narrative of being without fault.

relationship therapy in Alabama

One last thing I might add here. Narcissist are so concerned about themselves and their image that they may do anything to preserve their image. This may include eliminating the one who is tarnishing their image. Every day in America at least three women die at the hands of their narcissist spouse. Many women stay with their narcissist husbands (men too) for fear of what their spouse would do to them if they left. Under circumstances where there is a possibility of physical retaliation from a narcissist for leaving I advise a spouse to seek counsel in order to develop a well thought out plan to leave. This plan may include escaping while the spouse is gone to a safe house or shelter, leaving town altogether, filing a protection order, etc. Of course with children involved this becomes all the more complicated. Let me emphasize that leaving or even filing for a divorce doesn’t have to be the end of the marriage. It may actually be the catalyst for change. However, there should be significant evidence of remorse, emotional and physical safety along with a willingness to stay in therapy to have any level of confidence a narcissist is safe to stay with.

My prayers go out to you if you are living with a narcissist. You have a problem. You can either accept this as your lot in life and put up with the abuse or neglect and go with many of your emotional and possibly safety needs unmet. Or you can decide you want something different and make the difficult decision to stand up for yourself and demand change. With this decision, placing your emotional and physical safety at risk. That choice is up to you. No one can make it for you. Once again I urge you to seek counsel and gather support around you to help you feel good about your decision.

Never deal with a narcissist by yourself. You will always be outnumbered.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Begin working on your marriage today!

Hot or Not Marriage Quiz

How hot is your marriage? There is no better time to do a check up than right now. Take this VERY short quiz to check in with your spouse. Maybe its time for a little talk about us.

 

 

 


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Marriage Survey

What’s going on in your marriage?

Staying on the pulse of marriage is my job as a marriage therapist and one who provides seminars and retreats on the subject. Take a moment to add to my database of current issues couples are facing today by completing this short marriage survey.

MARRIAGE SURVEY


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Sexual Addiction Recovery

Would you believe that between 18 and 24 million Americans are sex addicts? That means nearly 1 in 18 people are struggling with sexually compulsive behaviors. The sad part of this reality is the impact this compulsion has on marriage. Every day a spouse learns that the love of their life has been unfaithful to their vows. No matter whether their involvement was virtual or in person, it is no less devastating.

I have been helping couples facing this reality for many years now. I have great news. An affair or sexual addiction doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. But it does mean you have to be willing to let your marriage go. This may seem to be a contradiction but it isn’t. An affair is an addiction – a addiction to a person, a behavior, a thought or emotion. It is being driven by a false reality. Under the spell of the delusion of our own thoughts and emotions we all have the potential of being irrational and pathetic. If you are not happy in your relationship take action to make some changes. Don’t go out and start up another relationship with someone else. End one relationship before you start another. That’s much more rational and much less stressful. The reason why people get caught up in affairs is because they are unwilling to let go of their current relationship. The reason why injured spouses often experience multiple affairs with their spouse is because they have not come to a point of being willing to let go of the relationship. Holding on to something that isn’t yours is irrational. Once one partner lets go the cycle of addiction is broken. Now we can move on to address the real issues or let go of each other altogether.

Learning to let go is what I help people do. I help people see life without what they have held on so tightly to. Once a person experiences this freedom stress instantly goes away. Everybody is now responsible for themselves and their own happiness.

If you are someone you know is acting out sexually, whether in an all out affair or simply flirting sexually with others in person or virtually, I have a treatment option. Registration for my Fall sex addiction recovery program is now open. Call (256) 850-4426 to set up a Phone Consulatation. A family is a terrible thing to waste.

Learn more about our affair recovery and sex addiction recovery programs.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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The Sizzling Hot Marriage Show – DJ OZONE #1

Curious about what you will learn in therapy or from taking the Sizzling Hot Marriage Maker Course?

Watch Orlando and his wife grow their marriage through this process.

Schedule your Treatment Planning Session


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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What does a healthy relationship look like?

My father was an alcoholic. My mother was depressed. I don’t have anybody in my family that’s married. I’ve been in multiple long-term relationships. Does this sound familiar? So many clients who come into my office have no clue what a healthy relationship looks like because they have never seen one or been in one. So I decided to write a post on healthy relationships.

First of all a healthy relationship feels good to be in. There may be some stress from time to time because life has its ups and downs. But for the most part a healthy relationship brings joy not pain. If you are feeling stressed and depleted, you are not in a healthy relationship. There are people in this world who sap you and people who zap you. If you live with someone who saps you you will feel drained all the time. If you live with someone who zaps you – you feel like coming back for more.

Now this doesn’t mean that if you are married to a sapper you should go out and get divorced to marry a zapper. The problem with that formula is that you never know what you are getting till you are married. The other problem is that you are married, now you must make the best out of what you have. (If you are not married the gate is still open.)

This brings up the point that you have a major role to play in what kind of relationships you develop. If your lover is a sapper there is a high likelihood that you have in some way cultivated the relationship to be that way. If you are a fairly easy going person you will tend to allow your spouse to get away with stuff that doesn’t make you happy. If your spouse is rather cantankerous they are probably quick to let you know when they are not happy. So what do you do? Comply of course. But they don’t have to do the same because you are so easy. This scenario often leads to a very unbalanced unhealthy relationship. It always amazes me how one person rate their marriage a 10 while the other says its a 3. Somebody is getting their way while the other is getting run over.

Nurture a Healthy Relationship

Nurture a healthy relationship by becoming more assertive in expressing what you like and don’t like. Become more comfortable with gentle confrontation and demanding what is rightfully yours to have. Develop skills in negotiation and compromise and relentlessly follow up on agreements made.

Do you wear uncomfortable shoes? Why are you wearing those uncomfortable shoes? Consider wearing more comfortable shoes. If they are the only ones you have maybe there are some things you can do spruce them up a little. Don’t just accept being uncomfortable.

This is how you should view your relationship. If its not comfortable don’t just get used to it. Insist on change. Do some things to spruce up your relationship. I have given a few great ideas in my new book – The Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage. Check it out! Get some marriage therapy.

In summary, healthy relationships feel good. If you are stressed and unhappy – you are not in a healthy relationship. Don’t just settle – get up and do something to make it healthy. It make take some work. But what is worth having is worth working for.

This is just the first installment on what a healthy relationship looks like. Stay tuned!

~Joe

Want to be a blessing to a married couple? Give them a copy of my recently published book, “The Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage”. BUY NOW

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Sow the Seeds

You have probably noted the farmers and gardeners are out these days working their fields. The farming cycle is one in which we should pay close attention. Late Fall early Spring farmers begin planting seeds and seedlings in anticipation of a Summer and Fall harvest. We must be careful to do the same thing in our personal lives. While we are not limited to a particular time of year, we should still be intentional about setting a regular schedule of seed sowing in order to produce a harvest of good not only in our lives but in the lives of others. Poverty comes when seeds are not sown, don’t produce a harvest or the harvest is destroyed or taken away. There is not much we can do about a failed harvest or its destruction. But failure to sow seeds is completely on us.
I’m excited to have completed my first book entitled “The Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage“. Look out for my next post where I will share with you how to get your copy to enjoy yourself or share with somebody else. I have sown many seeds into this book over the last four years. I have spent my resources of time and money to see this project to fruition. It is a blessing to see this seed emerge from the earth and germinate into, I’m hoping, a great harvest. My hope is that it will feed the hungry soul of couples around the globe who are seeking to make and keep their marriage strong and healthy. This book is an example of sowing seeds.
What seeds have you sown? What harvest are you seeking to reap? What harvests are you reaping right now?
I have other harvests I want to reap. One is spending more time with my family. Another is losing weight. Whatever harvest you are seeking to reap, remember, you must sow the seed first. Certainly God reaps where He has not sown. But He has not designed that we sit around and wait for Him to give us a harvest. We must get out there, do the work, make the sacrifice, and sow the seeds.

What Happened to Getting My Physical Needs Met in Marriage?

For many couples their marriage is a source of strength and vitality. For others, their marriage looks a lot like the chaos and confusion going on in governments around the world. It’s hard to tell what the real agenda is. If you and your spouse are facing chaos in your marriage, keep reading. Continue reading What Happened to Getting My Physical Needs Met in Marriage?

12 Days of Christmas Challenge

So Christmas is in the air. It is such a wonderful time of year. Most people are full of cheer. How about you? Just like birthdays and Thanksgiving, Christmas is a great opportunity to make those special people in your life feel special. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to connect with people you care about who you haven’t touched in a long time. Some shy away from giving gifts – but the blessing is in the giving. And it is also important to be a good receiver. Don’t ruin it for the giver with a sour face or saying something negative. Just say thank you and call it a day.

Someone told me recently her family’s tradition is to make something for each other on Christmas. That was a twist on the traditional commercialized approach to Christmas. I thought that was really special and told my family we are going to take up that same tradition. Of course the kids were like “Dad, does that mean…” I let them know that we will still be exchanging gifts. They were relieved. All kids are expecting gifts  And most adults are too. Don’t let this opportunity pass to make some love happen this Christmas season! Think about the greatest gift of all – Jesus our Savior! He gave of Himself so that we might live forever. Have you received His gift?

To every couple I want to issue a challenge to take the next 12 days to do something special to let your spouse know how much you love them. Be creative! Spend no more than $1.28 if you must spend money on this token of your love. Post your pictures of your tokens by 12 midnight each day on our Facebook page @SizzlingHotMarriage. I have a special prize for all the couples who complete the challenge. Please be sure to like the page.

I’m excited about some projects I have completed. You can watch my video “How to Stop Arguing with Your Spouse on YouTube“. You can take my FREE marriage course ” The ABC’s of Sizzling Hot Marriage Video Course“.  Please be sure to like the video.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Seven T’s A Marriage Needs to Thrive

himliftingherT stands for thrive. I’m going to take the next few posts to focus on the seven T’s every marriage needs to thrive in these tough times. They are Time, Talk, Tokens, Touch, Tasks, Trust, and Tools.

The first thing a marriage needs is time. Up to 15 hours each week is not too much time to spend with your sweetheart. In fact, couples who starve their relationship of time together report lower levels of satisfaction. We can get so busy doing important things that we don’t allocate time to our marriages. Don’t allow the stress of life to squeeze out time to enjoy your spouse.

I have found that couples who take time out for one another are much healthier. Much like getting to the gym regularly helps the body, spending time together helps the marriage. Just a simple walk around the block or a game of Scrabble will do the trick.

Take a minute right now to plan to spend an hour with your mate in the next 7 days. No matter how stressed, financially strapped, upset or sick – you should find some creative way to spend time together. Take some pictures and share your experience on our Facebook page. Have fun!

To get the rest of these T’s download my latest tips for couples or take the Hot or Not Quiz.

~Joe

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Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

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Couple’s Monday Mixer

Looking for something to do? 

If you live in Huntsville and would love to get to know some new people my Couple’s Monday Mixer is a great option for you.

RSVP at our next event http://www.meetup.com/Huntsville-Couples-Monday-Mixer/ August 22nd. At each event I will share some timely relationship tidbits giving everybody an opportunity to chime in.

Our events will be fun activity focused to keep you moving and burning calories. Our first meetup will be miniature golf at the Insanity Skate Park. Please like this, retweet and share with your friends.

Start Planning Now for the 2017 Sizzling Hot Marriage Cruise!

SHM Cruise Postcard
What I could use is a relaxing day on the beach with my sweetheart. How about you? 

That’s one of the many things you will get to do on our Sizzling Hot Marriage Cruise. This cruise is for traditional married couples who are seeking to work on enhancing their marriage while enjoying a 7 day vacation. You can ask for a better way to get so much out of your time off. And, if you must, your children are welcome as well. They will have a blast too!

We have planned a dynamic program that will not interfere with fun and relaxation. Departing from New Orleans, LA on May 28, 2017, this cruise will visit Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Caymen, Caymen Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico. You will enjoy the top rate entertainment and meals provided by Carnival Dream. You will hear some awesome speakers address topics that you need to hear. Bring your family and friends and make new friends on this cruise. But most of all, you will be investing in your marriage. Click here for more information.

The Sizzling Hot Marriage Cruise coming in 2017

Happy couple on beachSo many have been asking about my next cruise. Well it’s coming in 2017. Planning has begun on our Memorial weekend seven day Sizzling Hot Marriage Cruise. Mark your 2017 vacation calendar now. See if your friends are interested. It’s gonna be an amazing opportunity for your marriage. (If you are not married please share.)

Click Here to Learn More

Planning a Wedding or Planning a Marriage?

A good friend of mine is getting married and told his fiance in the midst of their wedding planning to be careful in all of her wedding planning to not forget about the marriage planning. It is true that so much money is spent and attention given to the wedding but very little money is spent and attention given to the developing marriage. Couples who take the time to invest in their marital relationship are very wise. You invest in your marriage by getting premarital counseling, reading books, and being sure that the lines of communication stay open. You also invest in your marriage by being mindful of how your relationship is developing before you get married. When two homes are coming together there are so many variables that are a part of the equation that must be considered. Being careful to ensure that you are in agreement at every stage is essential. Many times one individual may begin to feel like he/she is making all the concessions and giving in to the other. The pressures that arise in preparing for a wedding can be intense and very confusing. Take the time to step back to discuss what’s happening along the way. Discuss your relationships with family and friends, finances, sexual expectations, religion, children and parenting, social expectations, personality differences, time together, love languages, anger management, infidelity, diet and exercise, dress, travel, careers, political, favorite interests, habits, character, and dreams to name a few. Being able to talk through these issues before you actually tie the knot is very helpful to planning a marriage.

A big mistake couples make is making too many marital commitments prior to the marriage. Many couples get involved financially and sexually prior to tying the knot. This is like giving the contractor money without a contract and paying for the job before he finishes. It may work out OK but it is not a best practice. You are taking a BIG risk. Take the time to get to know your potential suitor before you make such a major commitment like marriage. Get to know their family and friends. If you get involved in marital affairs prematurely it may become very difficult to back out when you realize this is not good for you. Patience is a virtue in any contractual deal. Especially one that is so involving like a lifelong commitment as marriage.

Neil Clark Warren wrote a book entitled Two Dates or Less where he describes the process of determining if someone is good for you within two dates. This is a phenomenal concept because it keeps you from making commitments to the wrong one. Too many people marry someone they really aren’t in love with. They settle simply because they have been together so long. Don’t wast your time dating someone who is not a perfect fit for you. No I didn’t say is perfect. Because nobody is perfect. But perfect for you. We share a lot in common and disagree about very little. We are attracted to each other and enjoy being together. We are not entangled in other things that would take away from our harmony with one another. This is a great time for us to get together. All of these are considerations when determining a perfect fit.

I love to compare selecting a mate to picking out a pair of shoes. Make sure they fit and you pay for them before you leave the store. Make sure before you make marital commitments that you have done your homework and made preparation before you jump into marriage. If you don’t you may find yourself having a wonderful wedding but a miserable marriage.

Do you have a sizzling hot marriage?

Is your marriage sizzling hot? If you rate your marriage as an 8, 9 or 10 in overall marital satisfaction what behaviors do the both of you consistently do that contributes to such a high rating?

Against popular opinion there are lots of happily married couples. My goal is to make this a more known fact. Will you help me? So many couples can be encouraged by your great marriage. So if you’ve got something to tell about what makes a happy marriage I would love you to reply to this post with the 3 – 5 vital behaviors you believe contribute the most to your having a happy marriage.

Get Back Into Church!

In our secular make up your own rules society many who were brought up in church find themselves straying away in favor of a life unbound by church attendance. Church time is replaced with recreation and relaxation. Time is spent going fishing or going to the race track. Who needs church anymore? Well I find it amazing how people suddenly find their spiritual roots when trouble comes their way. When all is well who needs the Lord? But when hard times hit everybody needs Jesus. Well the wonderful thing about Jesus is that he isn’t so mad at us when we come running back at him that he turns his back on us. He simply asks “what took you so long”.

Here’s the question I want you to ponder. Is church going to hurt you? Sure there are a bunch of crazies out there. But by in large Christians and other religious traditions reinforce the importance of keeping love in your heart. Love for God and love for man. I think more marriages could use a little more love. What about you?

Get back into Church! It will be good for you. And your marriage.

2015 Couple’s Sex Challenge

It’s a new year! Most of us have made some New Year’s resolutions. Was your marriage on your list? I would like to challenge you to do something different in your marriage this year. What I have found as a marriage therapist is that most couples possess the magic they need to have a sizzling hot marriage. The problem is that most couples have a couple of things that pours water on the flame.  They either get out of sync over a busy lifestyle or struggle with the inability to understand one another. It boils down to a failure to connect. Failing to connect over an extended period of time is what gets couples in trouble. All too often the effect of this extended disconnection shows up in the bedroom. This is why couples should pay close attention to their sexual relationship. They should not see sex as an optional activity and, in my opinion, should strive to be sexual with each other at least once a week. This ensures that the connection stays solid. If for some reason sex is not happening weekly then that is your clue that something is out of balance between you.  Either you are not spending enough time together or not understanding each other. So both of you need to make it your business to get back in balance.

So with all that said I am issuing a 52 week sex challenge for married couples. I challenge you to enjoy mutually satisfying sexual experiences  every week this year. For some of you that means something needs to happen tonight. 🙂 If you miss a week then be sure you make up the next. If you happen to be a couple that enjoys multiple sexual encounters each week that is no excuse to skip a week of sexual expression. If you have difficulty keeping this challenge up don’t hesitate to reach out for help. I will periodically send out encouraging posts to keep you motivated. If you like you can keep track of the challenge right here. Each week I will provide you some encouraging quips to keep you focused on your goal.

Marriage Resources

Here is a list of interesting websites that might be helpful for couples.

Marriage is forever – https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1005554596138803

It’s not about the nail – http://vimeo.com/66753575

The XY Factor – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de5FGZDPjbo#t=1693

Strengths Test – http://freestrengthstest.workuno.com/free-strengths-test.html

Love Story that will inspire you to appreciate what you have

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3QezBvN1BE

Does no longer feeling attracted to my spouse mean we should get divorced?

Marriage is a wonderful institution created by God. Like the church it is an institution God intended to accompany us on our pilgrimage through life. However, despite God’s original plan man often insists on having his way. Instead of these institutions being a permanent part of our lives we see them as functional as long as they serve our interests. After we have felt unfulfilled for a while we may find ourselves drifting away in search of fulfillment. Many leave their marriage and church family in search of love, fellowship and peace. Like the early pioneers in search of gold many leave what they have known in hopes that the unknown will make the difference they are seeking in their lives. Many do find the chance to meet their expectations of better obtained after leaving home. But so many more find themselves still unfulfilled at the end of their search. Continue reading Does no longer feeling attracted to my spouse mean we should get divorced?

My wife doesn’t make me feel like she is attracted to me

It is important for men as well as women to feel like their spouse finds them attractive. It is the major reason why couples decide to get together in the first place. You want me and I want you. Usually when couples get together they give each other calls, cards, stares, gifts, time, touches, words, thoughtful deeds and attention that all says I find you very attractive and I want to be with you. But for most (or many – you decide) it is difficult over the long haul to keep this energetic other directed-ness up. If a couple desires to be a Sizzling Hot Marriage it is very important that they make it an important aspect of their relationship to consistently communicate “I’m attracted to you!” Some personalities find this easier to do than others. Your outgoing types may find it easier to show attention and be affectionate. However, regardless of personality type, anyone can discipline themselves to do 3 to 5 things for their spouse consistently. Remember what is easy to do is easy not to do.

Ask your spouse if she feels your attraction to her. If she says no then ask her what three things you can do daily that would make her feel like you were attracted to her. If she says yes move on to the next question. What do I do that makes you feel like I am attracted to you? Then ask, Do you find me attractive? How do you generally express that attraction to me? This is not the time to criticize anything she says. You may just want to say something like, I really appreciate what you have done to show me you are attracted to me. In addition I would like it if you could (for example 1-Give me a warm kiss and hug when I come home, 2-tell me you love me and 3-talk to me for 30 minutes) to show me how attracted you are to me. Is this something you can do for me? I encourage couples in therapy to make a calendar and each make note when they experience their mate doing 1, 2 or 3 during the day. Keep this up for about 2 months and it will become a new habit.

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