By M. Simone Boyd Pop Quiz: is it easier for you to point out the positive or negative qualities in your loved ones? If you are anything like me it is SO much easier to pinpoint the negative rather than the positive. Especially, when it comes to family! But nagging and being overly critical is a sure-fire way to wreck your familial relationships. I learned that lesson from Abraham Lincoln and his wife. And it saved me from fussing at my husband for no good reason. The Case of the Frozen Vegetables One day, I opened the refrigerator to discover that two bags of frozen vegetables had been removed from the freezer, opened, and placed in the refrigerator. Both bags were clearly labeled: KEEP FROZEN. Yet, the vegetables had been left in the refrigerator. This was a major problem. And, I was fuming. Only one other person—my husband--lived in our 300 sq. ft. studio apartment. So, I knew immediately who to blame. Why had our Trader Joe’s Country Potatoes & Wild Mushrooms been carelessly moved to the refrigerator? Each bag cost $2.99 (a total of $6.49 with tax). Didn’t I always say “waste not, want not?” This was clearly wasting. And, hungry children across the globe could have feasted for a week on $6.49. I thought about calling my husband at work to ask about the reason for leaving frozen vegetables in the refrigerator. But, I decided against it. Thankfully. Because, I learned on the way to work that the…
By: Abigale Hassel I am sure you have heard the saying, “once a cheater, always a cheater”, but that is not always true. In my experience counseling couples recovering from infidelity, I have observed that cheaters fall into one of 3 main categories. First there is the Narcissist. This type is the serial cheater who has no remorse and may even feel entitled to cheat, simply because he or she wants to. This is the type who probably will continue to cheat, whether he or she is caught or not. The second type is the addict. This person is either addicted to sex or is addicted to the excitement of having “the forbidden fruit”. This type may actually have remorse, but may need professional help to stop. Finally, the third type is your average person. There may or may not be marital issues, but this person usually enters the slippery slope of befriending someone of the opposite sex. The “friendship” grows very important to this person. The cheater may begin by sharing personal information about the marital issues and there may be more and more time and energy invested into the “friendship” until the cheater slides into an emotional affair, a physical affair or both. Most of the time, this person has remorse and when faced with the possibility of losing his or her marriage, he or she desperately seeks to heal the marriage. If you are reading this and you have cheated, and if you fit into category number…

This Is Marriage

Vida Brown
By: Nicole Dash The greenish-blue hue of the cheaply made hair net matches his eyes. The blankets cover his body and the IV bag hangs behind him. He is about to be wheeled into surgery – a minor foot surgery to remove a broken sesamoid bone which has caused pain for nearly two years. I hold my breath as I exit the pre-op area even though I know he’ll be fine. He will be home in a few hours complaining about his new crutches and forced bed rest. I will spend the next few weeks caring for and loving him while occasionally rolling my eyes at his requests for extra blankets and back scratches. I will feel frustrated at his stubborn insistence to push himself. He will feel vulnerable and irritated by his temporary limitations. We will laugh at the absurdity of the situation one second and argue for no reason the next. We will both wish for time to pass quickly. Yet, I wouldn’t trade one minute. I wouldn’t want anyone else caring for him. What does it really means to form a partnership and marriage with someone? To meet someone and eventually make the decision to share a life together. To be brave enough to embark on a journey that is ridiculously fraught with imperfections. To give over a piece of your heart and in turn accept another person’s heart – by choice. Marriage IS NOT a fairy tale. Marriage IS NOT always simple. Marriage IS NOT about…

How I Saved My Marriage

Vida Brown
Someone shared this blog post with me and it really touched me. So many couples are dealing with how to save their marriage. If that's you, I hope Richard's story will encourage and inspire you. How I Saved My Marriage By: Richard Paul Evans (Dedicated to my sweetheart.) My oldest daughter, Jenna, recently said to me, “My greatest fear as a child was that you and mom would get divorced. Then, when I was twelve, I decided that you fought so much that maybe it would be better if you did.” Then she added with a smile. “I’m glad you guys figured things out.” For years my wife Keri and I struggled. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure what initially drew us together, but our personalities didn’t quite match up. And the longer we were married the more extreme the differences seemed. Encountering “fame and fortune” didn’t make our marriage any easier. In fact, it exacerbated our problems. The tension between us got so bad that going out on book tour became a relief, though it seems we always paid for it on re-entry. Our fighting became so constant that it was difficult to even imagine a peaceful relationship. We became perpetually defensive, building emotional fortresses around our hearts. We were on the edge of divorce and more than once we discussed it. I was on book tour when things came to a head. We had just had another big fight on the phone and Keri had hung up on…
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