Use Your Words

When our grandkids were little, they sometimes waved their arms frantically and made nonsensical sounds in an attempt to get their needs met. My daughter calmly reminded them to use their words. Sometimes I think we grow up still waving our arms and making nonsensical sounds to get our needs met, particularly with our spouses.


Keeping the Past in the Past

Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. ~Marlene Dietrich

I’ve learned over the years that dragging the past into an argument is an effective way to escalate the argument way out of proportion. It is a mean-spirited and childish way to act and very effectively stinks up […]

The Little Stuff

A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time. -Anne Taylor Fleming-

Grace, who is a newlywed, says she and her spouse don’t usually argue about the big stuff such as money. It’s the little things, like the temperature setting on the thermostat that spark […]

Fair Fights

“We never fight.” When I hear a couple say that about their marriage, I wonder if it can really be true. In the past I even envied them. Perhaps it is true. Perhaps what they mean is that they have perfected the art and skill of discussing differing views and desires in a friendly and […]

A Toxic Environment

Many couples develop bad habits over time — habits of which they are often not even aware. Bickering and sniping and criticizing are common. These habits create a toxic environment, which is not healthy for the couple, their children, or anyone else who shares their living space.

Early in our marriage, my husband and I […]

Agree to Disagree

A young man I met at a social event told me he and his wife had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary. When I asked what he’d learned in the first year, he replied, “We never go to bed angry.” He went on to say that this didn’t mean that he and his wife don’t […]

The Power of Words

I once read that some couples end up getting divorced because they started using the word “divorce” in their arguments as a weapon or as a way to get their partner’s attention. Eventually, they ended up getting a divorce that neither partner wanted.

Words can be extremely powerful — especially words that are emotionally charged. […]

Repeating Patterns

For years, we fought, argued, and engaged in very painful emotional exchanges. The words were often different, the situations were different; however, the underlying theme was the same. I felt misunderstood and misjudged. I cried, yelled, and pleaded, trying to get him to understand me. He felt frustrated because I was upset, and he couldn’t […]

Standing Up for Myself

It was happening again. My husband and I were playing chess. As usual, he had me on the run. He played offensively; and, I responded by playing defensively. One day, I realized what I was doing and decided I could play on the offensive just as he did. This time I won! I was a […]

A Trusted Friend


My husband and I recently join some old friends for dinner and a ballet performance at a local university. Since we moved further away from them several years ago, we don’t see them often. She was a significant confidant and advisor to me for many years. This evening is a special treat.

Seeing her […]