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Marriage

Building and maintaining healthy marriages.

young man who learned to navigate love and finances playfully holding credit card away from smirking young woman

How to Navigate Love and Money: The Importance of Being Financially Saavy as a Couple

When you get married, you are not only marrying that person, but you are also marrying their family and their credit score. We love our significant others and we need money to survive, but how do we talk about our finances together? Do you know what kind of spending habits you are marrying into? Is the person you’re marrying a saver or a spender? Those questions are all things that need to be considered before the wedding bells ring. Being a financially savvy couple takes open communication and hard conversations to avoid marriage pitfalls. What Money Mindsets Do We Value in Our Relationships? According to the Jimenez Law Firm, “Money is widely known as one of the leading causes of divorce in […]

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What to Do When Marriage Is Hard with Julie Bender - 242

What to Do When Marriage Is Hard with Julie Bender – 242

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreWhen we get married, we have dreams, hopes and goals for what our lifelong union with our new partner will look like. But that idealistic view doesn’t always match reality. Instead, we may find ourselves wondering why our man is so different compared to how he used to be at the beginning of the relationship or to the doting husbands we see on social media. Maybe we find ourselves in constant conflict with him, never finding common ground. Both of these issues can slowly and painfully drive your marriage into the ground. Comparison and conflict are major, yet common, issues in marriage. Our very own

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Can You Get Past a Betrayal in Marriage?

‘Loving Wife’ Asked: How do you get past a betrayal in marriage? Dr. Zoe Answered: You didn’t specify what type of betrayal this is, so I’m going to guess that it’s probably one of the big ones—otherwise, you wouldn’t have asked the question. When the trust in your marriage has been destroyed, when the marriage covenant has been broken, you have two choices—stay and deal or leave and heal. Staying also requires a significant amount of healing if you’re going to do it in a healthy way. In staying, you have an amazing opportunity to heal together. The betrayed isn’t the only one hurt and damaged, so is the betrayer. Many people stay in a marriage after a big betrayal, but instead

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7 Money Tips When You Are Thinking Marriage

7 Money Tips When You’re Thinking Marriage

Before you take the plunge from dating to marriage, there are a few things that you and that “oh he’s so darn cute and sweet—nothing else matters!” guy you’re smitten with need to discuss. One biggie that every couple needs to have a serious conversation about is money. Yep, the subject we all want to avoid… but this is one of the top issues that lead to divorce. So a smart girl takes care of business applying these money tips before it ever becomes a problem. Here are the top money tips you need to know and do: 1. Talk about it! You need to discuss everything before you put on that wedding dress, so don’t avoid this subject; jump in. It

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10 Secrets Every Mother of the Bride or Groom Should Know

10 Secrets Every Mother of the Bride or Groom Should Know

Your son or daughter just got engaged, and you’ve officially become a MOG or MOB (Mother of the Groom or Mother of the Bride.) Congratulations! Are you excited or freaking out? First things first, take a deep breath and remember that you’ve raised them to be responsible, caring adults—even if they don’t always act like it. Before my son’s wedding, his fiancée was struggling with whether or not to wear a veil, and he looked at her and said, “Whatever it’s going to take to make you feel beautiful on our wedding day.” I was pleasantly surprised at his response and realized I wasn’t a total failure as a mother! Second, it’s easy to get distracted by details, so don’t forget that

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Is He Unhappy in Marriage or Mid-Life Crisis?

‘Johanna’ Asked: How do I work on my marriage when my husband tells me everything in his life is in the air right now , he’s unhappy in marriage OR tells you “I’m sorry I’ve been living your life. You wanted kids and to get married, not me!” We’ve been together for 17 years now. How can I move on from that? I’m hurting right now. Dr. Zoe Answered: Your husband is going through something right now that’s making him question all of his choices in life. Unfortunately, that includes you and the kids, too. Maybe it’s true that he felt pressured to get married and have children. Maybe it’s actually that he’s unhappy in marriage, with how his life is turning

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Marriage is Not a Hallmark Movie

Marriage is Not a Hallmark Movie—But it Can Be Better

Marriage is not a Hallmark movie. If you’ve been married for more than 5 minutes, you were probably like, “Duh.” But do you have single friends? Do you remember all the lofty ideas you had before you got married? Last Christmas, I went to a Hallmark movie party. Think leggings, chocolate, and Christmas Hallmark movies. It was glorious. However, I was one of the only married women there. As I watched these precious women take in the love stories, I wanted to stand up in front of the screen and say, “It’s not like this! It’s really hard! There’s a reason God made it a covenant because, at some point, you will probably want out!” This seemed a little heavy for the

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Ask Dr. Zoe – I Want My Husband to Be an Involved Dad

‘Fed up in Maryland’ Asked: Hi, Do you have any suggestions on how to get my husband more involved with our boys? He is great at playing video games with them and taking them to the latest movie but he does not do anything else with them without me initiating or suggesting it. He is a sports fanatic and they play a different sport every season but other than taking them to practice When I need him to he doesn’t play with them. It’s been this way basically since they were born. I thought it would get better once they were older but it hasn’t. He didn’t have a father when he was younger and then had a neglectful step father. When

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older couple walking outside hand in hand

The Joy Series: Marrying Later in Life Brought Unexpected Beauty and Delight

Dan and I both marvel at how easy it was to transition from widowhood to being married again—almost as if we’d known each other all our lives. And oh, the joy of remarrying later in life. Because when you lose a good thing, and when goodness eventually replaces the loss, it seems so much sweeter. It’s not that I meant to take anything for granted in my first marriage. But as the years passed, I got used to the stability and the faithfulness and the companionship. And then I found myself doing road trips alone. And snowshoeing the trails in the Cascade Mountains alone. And holding Friday date night alone (I know… weird, but it was part of my brave-making campaign as

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Is Compromise in Marriage the Only Way? Try This Instead

I remember sitting in pre-marital counseling 20 years ago listening to the pastor go through all sorts of items before I got married the first time. I don’t remember too much, to be honest, but I do remember when he told us not to compromise in marriage. He specifically said, “There is going to come a time where you cannot agree on what to do. Perhaps it is where to spend Christmas—you both want to spend it with your families, and can’t seem to come to a decision without erupting into argument. You know that if you pick one side over the other, one of you is not going to be happy. Maybe another time you both want to vacation in two

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9 Principles to Build a Strong Marriage (Even Through the Storms) - 225

9 Principles to Build a Strong Marriage (Even Through the Storms) – 225

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreEvery couple that says “I do” desires—and anticipates—a marriage bursting at the seams with love, respect and friendship. But that only happens when each partner is willing to put in the work to get there. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender unpack 9 guidelines that every couple can use to build a strong marriage, whether they’ve been together for decades or just recently exchanged vows. Darlene and Julie share common marital misconceptions; the actions and behaviors that contributed to the longevity of their personal partnerships; how to have healthy arguments and disagreements; and other tips for blending

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How to Flip the Script on Your Infertility Journey

Busyness: Is It Really Your Badge of Honor?

As much as I look forward to the autumn season after a laid-back summer, I often find myself totally overwhelmed and burned out by October. This year, I really felt God preparing my heart for a different approach. Specifically, He was emphasizing that the peace of our home is often up to me as a wife and mother. Every family member plays a role in the overall atmosphere, but I’ve noticed that my mood can literally dictate the ambiance of our sanctuary. Things that can assault your peaceful environment can sneak in. Our culture promotes busyness like it’s a badge of honor, something to be proud of—and if you aren’t signed up for a hundred different things then there is something wrong

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A Parent's Guide to Halloween and How to Handle It

A Parent’s Guide to Halloween and How to Handle It

It was Halloween day, and this was the first year my daughter realized it might just be a great event in which she wanted to participate. She was barely four years old and until that time my husband and I had avoided stepping into the chaos of this holiday. My husband’s attitudes were born out of his complete distaste for many of the things that came with this particular evening. I didn’t necessarily disagree with him, but I circumvented it simply because I had enough to do without adding it to the list! But we couldn’t avoid it this year. We desperately needed a parent’s guide to Halloween, but there wasn’t one. Our daughter wanted to dress up; she wanted to grab

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This Is What I Learned About Love From 2 Great Men

This Is What I Learned About Love From 2 Great Men

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) “Did you throw the dinosaur in the trash?” I sent the text as a question, but I knew the answer. My husband, God bless him, was cleaning out our car yesterday. He just felt like it; he had time off. He’s one of those productive personality types. What was my response to his unprompted help? I sent him an accusatory text about throwing away a green dinosaur costume for our toddler that had been sitting in the car for who knows how long. Don’t worry. I dug it out of the trash along with a children’s book “that I love” (even though I had completely forgotten about it). I also let my husband know that

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If You Wait for Marriage Will Your Sex Life Be Boring

If You Wait for Marriage, Will Your Sex Life Be Boring?

So, a client got me thinking. He was discussing waiting until marriage to have sex. He expressed his respect for that choice, but also his concern as a dating, single male. He said, “What if I marry her and then find out that we are not sexually compatible?” I can certainly understand his concern. Some people would say if you have never had sex before, you won’t know any difference, and it won’t matter. But the majority of people who are abstinent are re-committing to abstinence (some coming out of marriages). They’ve had prior sexual experiences and are worried about sexual compatibility because, well, they actually will know the difference. Should You Wait for Marriage to Have Sex? So, I decided to do some research into this issue, realizing it

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It’s a Wonderful Thing to Fall in Love Later in Life

It’s a Wonderful Thing to Fall in Love Later in Life

Our children and grandchildren met each other for the first time over pizza on a Friday evening. A bonfire was built later that night. Marshmallows were toasted and paired with graham crackers and chocolate, and grandkids were sent back to their cabins sugared up (because this is what grandparents get to do). Dan and I planned an outdoor wedding weekend, having fallen in love later in life. We were surrounded by our adult children, children-in-law, and the grands. Each family occupied their own tiny cabin near a wild and clear river. Grandpa Dan flipped pancakes on Saturday morning at a cook station set up on the deck of a woodsy house. Here is where the bride and her junior bridesmaids, pre-teen granddaughters

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how i'm making my later in life love story one worth telling

My Later-in-Life Love Story Is One Worth Telling

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) The bunny that lives under our deck is mowing our lawn, one blade of grass at a time. A misshaped “V” of geese just flew overhead, so close I could hear the whir of their wings. A cool breeze is playing with the wind chimes, and I’m wrapped in a fuzzy, hand-knitted shawl. We live in a mountainous region. Even though there’s a feeling of autumn in the air, I am not fooled. It will be summer again and then fall, and summer again before it officially settles into fall, after which the next day will be winter. One Year Into Our Remarriage I love the change of seasons. My husband, Dan, and

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