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6 Ways to Deal with Unmet Expectations in Marriage

It helps to study your partner and note their weaknesses so that you are not too gutted when they fall short. As their companion, you could also help them work on their weaknesses instead of judging them and taking offense. Remember that forgiveness is a daily component of a healthy marriage—rise above obsessing over your spouse's weaknesses and learn to bear with them in love.

6 Christmas Gift Ideas Your Spouse Will Love

Christmas can create undue stress as we strive to find the perfect gift for our mate. But it doesn't have to be stressful. With a little creativity and a better understanding of who our spouse really is, we can get gifts they will appreciate for a lifetime and gifts that will help better their lives, learn a new skill, and make them better people as a result.

The 7 Commandments of Christian Marriage

I have an advanced degree in counseling and hundreds of hours experience working with couples. I’ve taught marriage retreats for years. I wouldn’t say I’m an “expert” in marriage—because I’m married—and my wife reads my blog. That would be a stretch. Actually, I know more to do than I have the practice of doing. (Isn’t that true for most of us?)But I’ve learned a few things. I’ve observed things that work and things that don’t.I think there are some necessary ingredients for a healthy marriage. That’s the point of this post.Want a healthier marriage?Consider these 7 Commandments of Marriage:
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Serhii Sobolevskyi

5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband

Words are singularly the most powerful force accessible to humanity. We have the choice to use this power to build someone up with encouragement or destroy a person with one destructive word. We’ve been reminded ever since we could talk to: Be careful with your words, once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.Proverbs 18:21 reminds us: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." As a writer, I’m well aware of how my careless words have pierced my husband’s heart. In fact, the first time I tore my husband down was a moment I’ll never forget. Chris had promised once I finished college we would move from the middle of Nebraska to Florida.As a woman whose soul is tempered by any body of water, I had big dreams to live by the ocean. When the time came Chris had already established a solid career in the agricultural field and Florida didn’t exactly fit into his career path.One evening we hashed it out and he said no. Frustrated and filled with sarcasm I said, “Fine, I’ll move down there without you and if you don’t follow, then we can just get a divorce.”I never saw a man fall as quickly as he did. I didn’t mean it one bit. I didn’t realize how effortlessly I obliterated my husband’s confidence, purpose, and self-respect in one simple, off-handed comment.In the book Love as A Way of Lifeby Gary Chapman, he uses a vivid metaphor for words as being either ‘bullets or seeds’. If we use our words as bullets, we lose the ability to restore a relationship but if we use our words as seeds, we can rebuild a relationship. Words have power to help, to hinder, to heal, to hurt, to humiliate, or to humble.Words can inspire and words can destroy your man. Choose yours well. As one vital rule, the word divorce should never be mentioned in a marriage. Now that we have that established, here are five phrases never to be uttered at all costs.
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How to Cultivate a Spirit of Thanksgiving in Your Marriage

A marriage thrives when both the husband and wife love Christ more than anyone in life, including their spouse. And when they look to The Lord as their provider - rather than demanding their spouse meet all their needs. When you learn to devote your heart to loving the Lord, there will be a natural outpouring of thankfulness and God's love spilling out of your heart and onto those around you - especially your marriage partner.

5 Holiday Date Night Ideas for Every Couple to Enjoy

Between all the decorating, shopping, baking, and gift-wrapping, it can be a busy time of year when you may wonder how you are going to fit anything else in, much less a date night! However, well-orchestrated holiday date nights may be just what your love needs to keep the festive spark alive and well! Besides that, it may even make all the other things on your to-do list a little less daunting.So, whether you make time to catch the latest cheesy holiday rom-com, fall down in a bed of snow to make angels, or attend a local festive event, the holiday season marks a perfect time to create special date nights that will speak your love language and touch your romantic heart. Ahh, feel the weight of all the holiday stress slowly melt away.Sounds great, right? But maybe the thought of getting childcare, trying to find the right event, or planning something special among all the other holiday things you have to do sounds more overwhelming than enjoyable. I can understand that. When our daughters were younger, we didn’t always seize the opportunity to go out. However, we did make a pack with a few friends to switch off childcare nights, and let me tell you - that was such a blessing! Finding ways to pre-plan now may be all you need to take the chance and make the most of your date nights together!Now, are you ready? Discover some unique and fun date nights below that are guaranteed to spice up your love this holiday season and get you both in the Christmas spirit.
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12 Gift Ideas for the Husband Who's Hard to Shop For

As wives, we want to show our husbands they are loved. Our gifts are a chance to let them know they are appreciated and seen. Consequently, we women can feel a bit of pressure when shopping for our husbands. We are often also bearing the load of shopping for everyone else in our homes, too! All the planning, budgeting, buying, and more add a layer of stress to this time of year for most married women.

How the Enneagram Can Help You and Your Spouse Navigate Disagreements

As a Type 6, he fears not having security or support and being blamed, targeted, or abandoned. He wants security, guidance, and loyalty. When he is facing something intense or challenging, he wants to talk about it. As a Type 9, I fear conflict and tension. I want peace and harmony. I'll forget myself and go along to get along and end the conflict.

7 Romantic Dates to Get You in the Christmas Spirit

The Christmas season can be very hectic for couples. With everything that must be done, it leaves little room for romance. However, intentional couples can still spark romance in their relationships while getting into the Christmas spirit. Regardless of a couple’s budget, the suggestions below will help them enter the Christmas spirit while sparking a little romance. Here are seven romantic dates to get couples in the Christmas spirit:
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7 Ways to Show Your Spouse You Notice and Appreciate Them

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to get so caught up in the doing that we disconnect from our spouse. There’s always a task that needs to be completed and a plethora of things and people vying for our attention. We get into our routines and, somewhere along the way, forget to communicate—not just schedules and needs, but the important things, like how much they mean to us and why we appreciate them.It can be challenging to show my spouse consistently that I appreciate what he does. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty good at expressing and demonstrating my appreciation for other people in my life, whether it’s my kids, coworkers, people at church, even the clerk at the grocery store. Unfortunately, sometimes I neglect to put that same effort into sharing how much I love, value, and appreciate my spouse and all he does.My husband works full-time to provide for us so I can homeschool our two children. He also cooks dinner almost every night (I am a terrible cook, and, thankfully, he loves to cook) and helps in countless other ways every day with the kids, household, various projects, and so much more. After 16 years of marriage, it’s easy to fall into our routines and take for granted the many ways my spouse blesses me every day, which is why I’ve started being more intentional with showing my spouse how much I appreciate him.Here are seven simple ways to let your spouse know how much you value them:Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Bernardbodo
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