IntroductionIn a few weeks I will have been married—for the second time—7 years.
By this time in my first marriage I was thoroughly confused and my wife was thoroughly depressed. I so didn’t get it.
I will never forget the day—sitting on the white L-shaped couch talking again to Sharon, my first wife. We had had these conversations many times before. She wasn’t happy. I didn’t get why. She tried to explain, again.
At some point I suggested what I thought was an impossible idea, but she had been hinting that this was true. This is what good communication does, I would later learning. We repeat back what we think we hear the other person saying. This is always a good idea when we are not sure. This day, I just stumbled onto this technique.
“Are you saying I am pretty much a crummy husband?” The real sense of the question was, “Well, you are not saying am just a crummy husband, are you?” (Like that would be impossible, but just to be sure, let’s get that out of the way.)
Her silence was not very reassuring.
That day is marked in my mind as the beginning of 13 miserable years of struggling to find happiness in marriage. Countless hours of counseling. Reading 50 or so books. Two full weeks of counseling in Colorado. Lots of tears. Lots and lots of tears.
Countless nights I came home thinking, “Is this it? Is this the night I will come home to an empty house and a note saying, ‘I am leaving. I just couldn’t take it anymore.’” I was always relieved when I saw her car in the driveway.
Eventually, at year 18, we had another conversation on the couch. Sharon said to me, “I want you to read this and then we can talk about it.” I still get a pit in my stomach thinking about it. The beginning line read, “I am leaving. . .”
Two months later, we were divorced.
Long story. . . five years later I got married again. I thought going in that I had learned so much the first time that the second time around would be much easier. Sharon had even told me so. One night she said to me, “You are going to make a great husband. . . for someone else. I just don’t have any feelings for you anymore.”
Happily, I was right. All I had learned the first time around has made marriage much better the second time around. Not that we don’t have bumps along the way. We do. But, we have a good marriage. I would say, even a great marriage.
Another long story. . . over time Chris has become my best friend. Missy and Cindy have restored their relationship such that they attend a Bible Study together every week. Perhaps its time I introduce you to the four faces on the front of the Blog.
I am the tall guy in the green shirt. Missy, my wife, is at my side. Chris and Cindy are both in white shirts.
This blog is about the lessons we learned. It is a summary of 50 books I read and lessons that were not in any of them.
- What men/ women mean
- The Crazy Cycle
- THE “SECRET” HIDDEN IN EPHESIANS 5:33
- Love is more than a decision
- Romance is always a lot of trouble
- The goal of marriage
- Romance can be learned
- Making marriage last
- Kids advice on marriage
- What does divorce cost?
- What does marriage cost?
- Divorce will kill you
- Research on divorce
- Forever love
- Rick Warren on how God renews love
- Falling in love is like a drug addiction
- Eye rolling predicts marriage failure
- Is sex unromantic if it is planned?
- Marriage success turns on small things
- Why a child-centered marriage can harm your marriage
- The Aikido principle
- The first sentence of a conversation predicts its outcome
- How one couple solved their conflict
- In an ideal world, this is how conflict is solved
- Eye-rolling predicts divorce
- Compatibility is over-rated
- Dobson on appreciating Moms
- An affair is like a drug addiction
- Divorce from a kid’s perspective: Oh no, not you again!
- John Piper on how to honor your wife
- Andrew Root: for children, divorce is worse than death
- Andrew Root on children and divorce. Chilling.
- 6 steps to a better fight
- Chris Watkins Sermon
- Just can’t get enough
- A blueprint for handling conflict
- How one couple solved their sexual problems
- Divorce from a kid’s perspective: Hard Truth
- The Christian divorce rate myth (what you’ve heard is wrong)
- Scot Conway: Divorce doesn’t have to be ugly
- Divorce from a kid’s perspective: Let me explain
- Chris Watkins: Divorce is Passing
- Respectfully, Gary Thomas, I disagree
- Attend the seminar
- What Divorce Taught Me About Staying Married
- Divorce from a kid’s perspective: Adult Tolerance
- Going To A Marriage Conference
- Sex from a woman’s perspective
- What to do if you are bored with your marriage
- Answer to quiz #2
- In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage. ~Robert Anderson, Solitaire & Double Solitaire
- A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966
- Never get married in the morning, because you never know who you’ll meet that night. ~Paul Hornung
- Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. ~Barnett R. Brickner
- More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse. ~Doug Larson
- Kerry Patterson says, “Respect is like air. If you take it away, it’s all people can think about.”