Go to Top

Marriage Enrichment and Conflicts

Double Standards in Marriage

When marriage allows one of its partners privileges the other doesn’t have, it is a double standard. Most marriages have quite a few, by mutual agreement, which is no big deal. It’s a problem when most of the double standards favor the same partner. Any double standard is trouble when, according to unbiased and well informed experts, the underprivileged partner is undeserving of his or her lower status. The problem …Read More

Resolving Power Imbalance in Marriage

Last week’s column was about double standards, which are privileges given to one spouse but not the other. We learned that when power and privilege are distributed unevenly in a marriage, those underprivileged spouses over time come to believe they are indeed second-class, unworthy of being trusted. They take more and more of their identity, worth, confidence, and direction from their arrogant, over-privileged spouses, which makes the power imbalance grow larger every …Read More

Before You Divorce, Try This

  BEFORE GIVING UP ON A BAD MARRIAGE . . .             I have helped people create a peaceful divorce once they decide to go that way, but I have never advised anyone to get a divorce. One reason is that the heartache it cures is seldom as great as the heartache it creates, especially when dependent children are involved. The other reason is that God may have joined the …Read More

Understanding Each Other: Emotional Infidelity vs. Excessive Jealousy

Of all the columns I’ve written, this is the one I’ve had the most requests to send out, and to expand and revise. The following is a 60% longer version of a column I wrote three years ago. Though it will talk about marriage, it is also meant for those in long-term committed love relationships. The opportunity to have a healthy friendship with the opposite sex comes often to married people—at work, …Read More

Understanding Each Other: His Needs, Her Needs

Twenty years ago psychologist Willard Harley’s book His Needs, Her Needs became very popular. His research found men to need primarily the following five things from their wives, in this order: sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. Women on the other hand, he found reported needing the following from their husbands: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. My own experience would change these lists …Read More

Reversing Unhealthy Relationships

It seems to me that most Americans have one or more people somewhere in their family or friends that they just can’t get along with. The way it feels is like, “I just don’t feel comfortable around them. I can’t be myself. They make me feel and act crazy, so I prefer to avoid them.” To create and maintain healthy relationships with our friends and family members, we all need …Read More