Posts

Second Place - Real Love Blog
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Loving With vs Loving Despite

On many occasions people have asked me how you can love somebody despite their being angry, or selfish, or stupid, or whatever. The problem here is typified by the use of the word “despite.” If I claim to love you despite your flaws: *…
Second Place - Real Love Blog

Three-Inch River Rocks

Several days ago a woman angrily complained to me about some behaviors of her husband that were irresponsible and lazy. After listening for a minute, I said, "Now that you have the load in your yard, it's a little late to complain about it." She…
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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It’s in the Delivery

I talked by Skype to John and Julie and asked them how they were doing. “All she ever does is criticize me,” he said, obviously unhappy. “Give me a specific example,” I said. John described how earlier that day she had come…
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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Changing the Subject

Heather was talking to her husband, Adam, and said, “I feel like we don’t do anything together.” “But I do lots of stuff with you,” Adam said, and he began to name some activities they had shared in recent days and weeks. I was…
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Why Partnerships Fail

We find partners in the hope that they will heal our wounds and make us happy. But they are not equipped to do that, and when we discover this—which we refused to see from the beginning—our partnerships fail. Learn how to have the unconditionally…
Second Place - Real Love Blog

Knowledge vs. Ability

Louis called me and said, "I just can't believe I keep doing this." "Doing what?" I asked. "I've read the marriage book. I've read several of the other Real Love books too, and I've been working at this for months now, but I keep getting…
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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We Have to Let Our Partners Be Themselves (Video Clip)

Oh, the temptation to control our partners is strong, but when we try to control them, our relationship is in big trouble. https://youtu.be/EbwA_YbvFu0
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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Second Place

If you’re willing to be put in second place in a committed relationship, soon you’ll be third and fourth, and then you’ll disappear off the edge of the earth.
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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You Don’t Buy Me Flowers

A man called me one day, heartbroken that his marriage was falling apart. “For years I’ve given her everything she wanted—literally everything—and now she says she’s just not happy anymore, and I don’t know what to do.” Then…
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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Being RIGHT is THE Thing

Two people, Roxanne and Don, separately approached me regarding their lives being miserable and their marriages suffering badly. The difference between how they subsequently responded to coaching could easily be summarized in two words: being…
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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The Ox and the Butterfly

Kirsten and James were living together, planning to get married, and also running a joint business. They spent a lot of time together, which tended to highlight their differences. James is a tightly organized man, who can schedule his day in…
Second Place - Real Love Blog

Sometimes Marriage Isn’t Easy

I’m pregnant, and yesterday I was having a particularly horrible day. Oliver and I had the biggest fight we’ve had in . . . weeks? Months? At the end of it I sat back stunned, because I can’t remember when we last fought. Now, I should…
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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Is It Appropriate to Point Out Your Partner’s Flaws? (Video Clip)

When and how should we point out to our partners and others that they’re behaving in unloving ways? https://youtu.be/a0jgA1qfwQs
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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What Can You Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Return Your Love? (Video Clip)

In some relationships, your partner may appear not to respond at all. What can you do then? https://youtu.be/pmn3iFZkWBM
Second Place - Real Love Blog

Don’t Start Trading

“We often like different kinds of television shows,” Mark said. “So I tell Kelly that I’ll watch one of her shows if later she’ll watch one of mine with me.” I laughed. “So you’re proposing a trade with your partner,”…
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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Marriage Guidelines

I have extensively written and spoken on the subject of marriage. See, for example, the book, Real Love in Marriage. Sometimes, however, it can be helpful to keep a simple list of guidelines that can easily be referenced for the sake…
Second Place - Real Love Blog
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Partners

I get a great many questions from couples who endure and even nurture varying degrees of contention. When doing a task together, for example, they argue over who is doing the most work, and whose work is the most important, or noticed, or rewarded.…
Second Place - Real Love Blog

I Don’t Want a Divorce

It’s not rare that I talk to couples whose emptiness and fear have led to their being in a constant state of battle. Although they alternately attack and withdraw without end, they really don’t want to live that way. They simply don’t…
Second Place - Real Love Blog

Just ASK

Every day I talk to couples where neither person is really aware of what their partner is thinking or feeling. I ask him how he’s doing, and he says, “Okay, I guess.” When I ask him how SHE is doing, the answer is the same. But when I…
Second Place - Real Love Blog

Too Many Words

I had known Martha and Brian for several months at the time I was speaking to both of them on Skype. Martha had launched into a monologue about Brian’s crimes. After I raised my hand for several seconds, Martha finally stopped talking.…