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10 Questions To Assess Marital Abuse

Marital abuse is the silent sin that causes damaging emotional and/or physical pain in too many relationships.  Abuse in marriage involves a persistent pattern of behaviors to exercise control, power, and entitlement.  There are six types of abuse:  emotional, verbal, physical, sexual, financial, and time.  Shown below are just a few questions to assess possible abuse in a marital relationship.

1.  Do you feel like you have to “walk on egg shells” to keep your spouse from getting angry?

2.  Does your spouse criticize many things that you do?

3.  Does your spouse isolate you by trying to cut you off from family and friends?

4. Are you compliant because you are afraid to hurt your spouse’s feelings?

5.  Does your spouse give you the silent treatment to punish you?

6.  Is your spouse hypersensitive and easily insulted?

7.  Are you frightened by your spouse’s temper?

8.  Does your spouse blame you for their anger?

9.  Does your spouse do everything to win an argument?

 10.  Does your spouse rant about injustices that are just part of life?

Today:  I pray that you are able to answer “no” to all these questions.  If you answered “yes” to a question(s) and have concerns for your personal well-being and marriage seek help from a professional. 

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14 Ways To Value Your Spouse On Valentine’s Day

The number “7” in the Bible stands for completeness, perfection, or wholeness.  This Valentine’s Day, complete your relationship and make your connection perfectly wholesome and satisfying.

Tomorrow, value your spouse and help them feel special without spending any money.  Shown below are 14 money free ways to love your spouse. 

1.  Hold your spouse’s hand for at least 7 minutes.

2.  Leave a love note.

3.  Hug your spouse 7 different times.

4.  Tell your spouse the internal attribute that you appreciate the most about them.

5.  Smile at your spouse 7 different times.

6. Share with your spouse your best day ever together.

7. Enjoy discussing with your spouse your favorite mini-vacation or vacation.

8.  Look into each other’s eyes for 7 minutes.

9.  Share a romantic memory with your spouse.

10.  Complete this sentence with your spouse, “I feel loved and valued by you when . . . . .

11.  Give your spouse 7 kisses.

12.  Share with your spouse the first time you felt emotionally close.

13.  Plan and set a date for a special future time together.

14.  Compliment your spouse in a specific way with the words, “I appreciate . . . . .

Tomorrow On Valentine’s Day:  Commit to implementing 7 of the 14 ways listed, or utilize your own loving ways, and help your spouse feel really loved on this special day!

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7 Ways To Find A Healthy Spouse

One of the most important decisions a person will make in life is selecting a future spouse.  Unfortunately, numerous spouses just choose the wrong partner and the result is divorce.  I estimate that 80% to 85% of the time a divorce happens because one spouse is deeply flawed and demonstrates extreme unhealthy thinking and/or behaviors. 

No matter your age, if you are single, shown below are 7 ways to find that healthy spouse.

1.  Write down 15 qualities that you are seeking in a wholesome partner.

2.  Write down 5 intolerable flaws or deal breakers that you absolutely want to avoid in a future spouse.

3.  Avoid dating a person who needs “fixing.” “Fixes” rarely happen after the wedding day.

4.  Only date potential marriage partners. 

5.  Have your eyes wide open while dating, and then half closed after the wedding ceremony. 

6.  Date for at least 12 months or the four seasons so you fully know your potential spouse before getting engaged. 

7.  Recognize the flaws your future spouse possesses before marriage, will be to a greater degree after the wedding day. 

 This Week:  Write down 15 qualities and 5 intolerable flaws so you have your list when you begin the dating process.    

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7 Foundational Aspects Of Your Marriage That Are Essential

I have had spouses, pastors, and even other counselors ask what I believe are the foundational aspects that matter the most for a gratifying marriage.  Counseling and written materials that provide skills and tools in 7 major areas can help build a strong, wholesome relationship for lifelong marital happiness.   

When couples are effective in the 7 essential components shown below, the probabilities for a gratifying relationship are significantly increased. 

1.  Expectations: Very simply, expectations will either create a strong emotional connection or deep disappointment and hurt.  Whenever a couple is satisfied in their relationship, the simple reason is expectations are being met.  Whenever a couple is disappointed in their marriage, expectations are not being fulfilled.  

2. Disagreement Discussion Guidelines: Disagreements are natural occurrences in happy marriages.  Couples in satisfying relationships certainly have disagreements—but they rarely have fights, arguments, and conflicts.  So a disagreement is never the problem, it is how a couple handles a disagreement while finding a solution.

3.  Apologizing and Forgiving: The Bible has nearly 125 references to the importance of forgiveness for interpersonal relationships. When spouses have the momentous goal to apologize and forgive one another for marital hurts or sins that substantially improves the chances for a gratifying relationship. 

 4.  Finances:  70% of couples fight over finances.  Couples need a budget and financial guidelines to produce financial harmony.

5. Communication: Words and behaviors can either build up or tear down a relationship.  Couples need basic skills for improving daily communication in both verbal and physical aspects of a relationship. 

 6.  Boundaries:  Healthy couples set limits with unhealthy behaviors.  Those “guards” make a significant difference in generating a satisfying relationship.

 7.  Faith Life:  Worshiping on a regular basis, praying at meals, and simply praying together for blessings, the needs of others, or personal requests of almighty God can strengthen a relationship. Striving to please God usually leads to healthy behaviors and nurturing words. 

 This Week:  Discuss with your spouse what steps you can take together to strengthen or improve your relationship in all 7 major aspects of a marriage.    

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