5 keys to effective communication

Effective communication skills are some of the most useful life skills you can learn. In marriage, effective communication skills ensure that you and your spouse understand each other’s needs and desires, argue less frequently, and avoid misunderstandings. These skills set the foundation for joint decision-making, collaborative dialog, and warm, positive sharing.

Want better communication in your marriage? Take a quiz to see how solid your communication skills are now or read this guide to communication marriage problems. Then brush up on these five key elements of effective communication that you can use every day. Continue reading 5 keys to effective communication

In-laws can boost or break your marriage

This may come as no surprise to some people: new research has shown a link between how you get a long with your in-laws and chances for divorce. University of Michigan researcher Terri Orbuch began the study in 1986 when she recruited 373 newlywed couples. She had each spouse rate his and her “closeness” with the in-laws and then followed the couples for the next 26 years.

Orbuch found that when a man reported having a close relationship with his wife’s parents, the couple’s risk of divorce decreased by 20%. Yet women who said they had a close relationship with their husbands’ parents saw their risk of divorce rise by 20%. Continue reading In-laws can boost or break your marriage

25 Happy mothers day quotes!

Mothers Day is a great idea – although, of course, every day should be mother’s day! Being a mom is tough work and it is a beautiful thing to recognize that. Sometimes it can be hard to put your feelings into words, and that’s where these Happy Mothers Day quotes come in. Enjoy these 25 happy Mothers Day quotes. Try hand writing one down on a nice piece of paper and leaving on her pillow or on the breakfast table. Continue reading 25 Happy mothers day quotes!

4 things you need to know to navigate marriage and retirement

Divorce rates for couples over 50 are rising. The culprit? Marriage and retirement. Retirement represents one of the biggest life changes since graduating college or having children. This complete rearrangement of your daily routine, social status, and perceived purpose in life has the potential to put untold stress on your marriage. Here are some tips for navigating the waters of marriage and retirement in a way that preserves your strength as a couple and steers you clear from the turbulence of divorce.

1. Marriage and Retirement Planning

One of the biggest problems starts with pre-retirement planning. As we prepare for retirement, we often make lots of mental plans about what and how to do it. When these develop in our minds and don’t share them with our spouses, we are setting our marriage and retirement up for miscommunication, disappointment and conflict. Continue reading 4 things you need to know to navigate marriage and retirement

8 beliefs that are actually terrible advice on marriage

Much “commonsense” advice on marriage doesn’t actually make sense when you look at it closely. Here are 8 common beliefs about marriage that are counterproductive to a happy relationship, if not down-right harmful! If you have been experiencing marriage difficulties, check to see if any of these bad pieces of advice on marriage may be at the root of the problems.

 How good is your marriage? Take Dr. Heitler’s Marriage Checkup Quiz.

Bad advice on marriage #1: My spouse has to go to counseling with me or it won’t work.

Actually, one spouse can carry a lot of sway in a relationship and, on her own, turn around a failing marriage. Power of Two has been shown in studies to be just as effective as counseling when both spouses go. At some point you’ll need to get your spouse on board and working on his own contribution to the marriage. At the same time, he can be gently led into this by following your example of increasing positivity, practicing better communication skills, and initiating intimacy. Continue reading 8 beliefs that are actually terrible advice on marriage

20 hilarious marriage quotes-funny and true!

Marriage quotes-funny, true and sweet. Many funny marriage quotes can be mean-spirited and perpetuate negative marriage stereotypes. Surround yourself with kind humor to give you encouragement in your relationships. After all, marriage can be tough, and one of the best predictors of success is to be able to have a sense of humor about it all.


“Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning – I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it.” -Stephen Gaines

“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale.  It’s a choice.” -Fawn Weaver Continue reading 20 hilarious marriage quotes-funny and true!

5 signs of emotional abuse

A tragically high number of people will suffer abuse at the hands of an intimate partner – conservative estimates claim that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. The real numbers are impossible to calculate since most instances of abuse are never reported.

Often education on abusive behavior focuses primarily on physical abuse. In fact, there are several different kinds of abuse that don’t leave physical scars, but are just as serious and dangerous as domestic violence. Often psychological and emotional abuse are the precursors to physical violence.

Familiarize yourself with these signs of emotional abuse so you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Continue reading 5 signs of emotional abuse


Nagging: little words that cause big problems. Nagging is a pattern of negative communication in a relationship. Most of the time it goes something like this: one person asks for or recommends something, or comments on his spouse. He receives either a vague response or silence. Later, he asks again, which causes his spouse to feel even more resistant. This pattern escalates until it provokes anger and arguments.

Why does nagging happen? Part of the puzzle has to do with the different ways in which men and women communicate. According to some research, women are more emotionally perceptive and sensitive to signs that there is something troubling their spouse. Since women tend to be more verbally communicative and explicative, they expect full and detailed answers about what is wrong. Therefor, getting a terse or evasive response from their spouse feels troubling and unsatisfying and they will continue to ask about the matter. Continue reading Nagging

5 positive communication strategies for couples

Nobody is born knowing how to communicate well in a relationship, and, unfortunately, we tend to pick up a lot of bad communication strategies from our parents, friends, lovers, and the media. It’s easy to say, “Just don’t get so mad and yell at your partner!”, when really, it’s quite hard to change emotional habits–and few marriage help books tell you how to do so. Here are five concrete communication strategies you can practice that will noticeably improve the atmosphere in your home. And you don’t have to try to master them all at once! Pick one at a time to focus on for a week or two. You will see results in the way your spouse responds to you and the greater ease in which you resolve conflicts. Continue reading 5 positive communication strategies for couples

Should I get married? 9 questions to ask yourself.

Should I get married? Yes! I love him so much! I can’t imagine life without her…

Marriage is a big commitment–in fact, it’s one of the biggest commitments we can make in our lives. Is he/she “the one”? Are you ready?

Ultimately, no one can answer that but yourself. Not your parents, not friends, not marriage experts or writers like me. Here are 9 important questions to ask yourself that can help you answer the question “Should I get married?” Many of these are based on statistics that predict successful marriage or divorce. Continue reading Should I get married? 9 questions to ask yourself.