Three Ways to a Resilient Marriage

We’ve been hearing from many of our SmartLoving leaders around the world looking for help in supporting couples under stress. There’s certainly lots of stress going around with pandemic induced changes and uncertainty. It got us reflecting on marital resilience – the ability of a relationship to endure and persevere through difficulties. There is quite…

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Stonewalling: A Silent Killer in Marriage

Stonewalling – aka ‘the silent treatment’ – is common in many marriages. Never helpful and poorly understood, we ignore it at our risk. Stonewalling is the practice of withdrawing from an interaction, shutting down and closing ourselves off from the other. We may be physically still present, but we become un-responsive, emotionally withdrawn, and non-communicative.…

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How Expectations Set Us Up for Trouble

When we look back on our early romance, we note how quick we were to trust each other, even recklessly so. We dived into the relationship with ready abandon and little thought for the risks of rejection or disappointment. Since then, our trust levels have strengthened in many areas, and declined in others, as we’ve…

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Defending our hearts

Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

Is defensiveness crippling your relationship? Do you feel regularly on edge, reactive and punchy? Read on for our process for managing defensiveness. Recently, Byron shared a new idea with Francine. Instead of encouragement, Francine responded with “when will you get time to do that?!” The conversation immediately terminated in gloomy withdrawal. Afterwards we unpacked the…

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Kiss to Connect

Many couples find the excitement of sex somewhat diminished within a few years of marriage. Their physical intimacy seems somehow perfunctory, unimaginative, even boring. Soon they are moving through life with regular sexual encounters but little connection. Some years on, even the regular sex may become less frequent and sometimes entirely absent. One way that…

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Resolutions to Have and to Hold

It’s a new year, a new decade and a new beginning. Among all the goal setting, consider what you can do to transform your marriage. Have you ever noticed that New Year resolutions often have a repentance nature? Resolutions such as ‘to drink less’ or ‘to give up smoking’ directly identify behaviours we readily associate…

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For Better is Important too

We all understand how important it is to know that your spouse will be there to support you during the hard times. Having someone to rely on in difficult times gives couples a sense of security and confidence in their marriage. In fact, many a couple has come undone in the aftermath of a crisis…

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#19 Transition to Parenthood

The transition to parenthood is a challenge for all couples but for a couple that experienced almost a decade of infertility the change from being a married couple with no kids, to parenthood can be a dramatic shift in their identities and relationship. In this podcast Laura and Joseph Cain share their rollercoaster of marriage,…

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Displacing Contempt with Respect

Want to give your marriage heart burn? Try treating each other with contempt. Contempt has been identified as a corrosive relationship pattern among couples headed for bust. An expression of despisal, contempt is the toxic cousin to criticism. Contempt is a devastating weapon when deployed by manipulative abusers, where the recipient is beaten down by…

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Making a change for the better

Change is difficult. It can also be complicated. Despite our best intentions, sustained change often eludes us. We’ve had many spouses tell us that their husband or wife promised to change, and things were good for a while, but then there was a relapse. Their good intentions were not enough to sustain their energy for…

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