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 We may be physically still present, but we become un-responsive, emotionally withdrawn, and non-communicative.…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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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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The Light of Bethlehem Heals

More than any other time of year, Christmas connects us with powerful childhood memories. For some, these are joyful: for many however, the memories are tinged with grief. Remembering Most of us have lovely memories of Christmas from our childhood: the excitement of gifts under the tree, beautiful liturgies, magical store displays and the movie…

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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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Confessions of an Advent failure

Advent is supposed to be a season for spiritual growth and reflection. Too often we arrive at Christmas eve frazzled and in a spiritual desert. Advent is full of opportunities for spiritual nourishment. There’s community celebrations and family gatherings, beautiful Church services and stunning displays proclaiming the Christmas message. Working against us, there’s the pressure…

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Waiting … with joyful hope

Advent is the season of waiting. And there sure is lots of waiting in marriage and family life. Advent, from the Latin adventus, means ‘coming’.  In the Church calendar, Advent kick starts the year with a period of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas. Like Lent, the colour for Advent is purple…

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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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Perfectly Imperfect Marriages

Despite the promises of Hollywood and fairytales, the perfect marriage is the one that helps us grow the most. And that’s not likely to be a marriage without hardship or trouble. Yesterday, as we were preparing to run a training session later on, we had ‘one’. An argument of sorts. It was more like a ‘splat’…

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