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MarriagePath Radio

Broadcasting from Southlake, Texas at DLC Studios. It’s MarriagePath Radio. A place to grow, learn and find healing in your marriage. From money to anger. From In-laws to sex. MarriagePath is just what the doctor ordered. Your host is nationally recognized author, psychotherapist, and speaker, Dr. Les Carter. Do you have concerns about your marriage? MarriagePath wants to help guide you to a more healthy and vibrant relationship. Simply visit MarriagePath.com now and let us know how we can help your marriage not only survive – but thrive!
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Mar 14, 2017

It’s not enough to say you want to be less angry. That’s a good starting point, but you’ll need to have an idea of the positive qualities you are moving toward. In this segment, we will identify 10 elements inside anger that tend to sidetrack you, and we will then identify 10 alternative traits that will move you into a much healthier manner of anger management.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Rather than using force in communicating anger, you can explain your needs, allowing others the space to absorb the message in their own timing.
  • Angry people usually communicate in a defensive posture, while the better alternative would be open-mindedness.
  • Rather than punishing others as you angrily express yourself, you can operate with a sense of tolerance.

Let’s Talk Question:

As you make plans to manage anger more cleanly, what 5 or 6 healthy traits are you moving toward?

Mar 7, 2017

There are various ways to manage your anger, some positive and some negative. In order to manage your anger most constructively you will need to be aware of the inner thoughts and needs feeding it. With insight and honesty about the true nature of your anger styles, you will be poised to make choices consistent with healthy lifestyle practices. That’s what we’ll explore in this podcast.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Forceful anger indicates, among other things, fear and insecurity.
  • Assertive anger can reveal empathy and a priority for goodness.
  • As you maintain a mind of humility you will be more inclined to pick and choose your battles carefully so anger will not become destructive.

 

Let’s Talk Question:

When tension and conflict arises, what are your most common displays of anger? What inner needs and thoughts pushes that anger along?

Feb 28, 2017

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that each person in your world has a keen understanding of you and chooses to respond with appropriateness. Regretfully, though, you probably know someone who seems oblivious to your feelings and needs, no matter how strongly you attempt to coordinate. With such people you will need to exercise caution as you respond, lest you fall into very unhealthy patterns.

Something to Think about: 

  • Each behavior has meaning, but amazingly there are some individuals who have no clue about the meaning of their most common behaviors.
  • When you attempt to correct those who cannot understand you, you run the risk of becoming emotionally imbalanced.
  • With unaware people, you will need to adjust your expectations to match ugly reality.

Let’s Talk Question:

What experiences have you had that point to the fact that someone truly has no capacity to know or understand you? How do you react emotionally in those moments?

Feb 21, 2017

When our emotions and communications become problematic, it is almost always connected to blurred relationship boundaries. We can be so consumed by having harmony that we behave in troublesome ways when it is not happening. In this podcast we will identify cues indicating blurred boundaries, then we will look at the better alternatives.

Something to Think about:

 

  • When you feel emotions like anger, tension, and guilt, there is probably a valid message at the base.
  • When your emotions (and accompanying communication and behavior) are exaggerated, it usually indicates a need for others’ validation.
  • When you live with healthy boundaries, you are able to distinguish what you are and are not responsible for.

Let’s Talk Question:

Name 2 or 3 illustrations of times when your emotions or behaviors are tied too heavily to the other person’s responses. How would clear boundaries prompt you to respond differently?

Feb 14, 2017

When tensions and conflicts arise many people have a tendency to communicate with forcefulness or stubbornness leading the way. Common sense says that there are a variety of ways to look at any issue, so it would be wise to stay away from exaggerated attitudes in favor of modesty. This podcast will explore reasons to communicate in a more modest fashion.

Something to Think about:

 

  • People who communicate with extreme reactions tend to have a deep history emphasizing all or nothing thinking.
  • The more stubborn you are, the less influence you have.
  • To stay away from extreme responses to one another, empathy is required.

Let’s Talk Question:

In your family, what are some examples of you or a family member operating with unnecessary stubbornness?  What would be the preferred alternatives?

Feb 7, 2017

Nitpickers have a tendency to overfocus on common, minor details to the extent that they perpetuate chronic tension. To minimize nitpicking, the need to be right needs to be exchanged for traits like acceptance, love, and tolerance. And if you are on the receiving end of nitpicking, you’ll need to cling to your inner confidence and calmness.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Nitpickers tend to need control in order to feel peace. Their focus on externals keeps them from adjusting internal strength.
  • Nitpickers need to recognize that unsolicited advice will be received as criticism.
  • When you are in the presence of nitpicking, you need not become excessively defensive.

Let’s Talk Question:

In your home, what are some examples of small matters that can be given too much attention? What better alternatives do you have beyond nitpicking?

Jan 31, 2017

When you are committed to being fair in your primary relationships, it’s only natural to want the other person to share an equal commitment. Unfortunately, many people will  not have the same eagerness for personal growth. In those moments you are faced with the question: Who do I need to be even if my efforts are not reciprocated?

Something to Think about:

 

  • We live in an interdependent world, so it is normal to want other people to work just as hard as you to find a reasonable middle ground.
  • Regrettably, some people either cannot or will not make the effort to learn how to blend with you as you face life’s many challenges.
  • Regardless of the other person’s behaviors, you are still responsible for you.

 

Let’s Talk Question:

In what circumstances do you feel demotivated due to another person’s unwillingness to coordinate life with you? How do you feel about pursuing healthiness even when you have to do it as a solo act?

Jan 24, 2017

Most people like to think of themselves as accepting - until they’re not. At times, opinions and preferences can become so strong that we offer rejection and judgment instead. Being accepting does not require you to cease having opinions and preferences, but it does require wisdom and discernment as you respond to the differences presented by others.

Something to Think about

  • When you speak with coercion there is a high probability you are not demonstrating acceptance.
  • The closer you feel to another person, your expectations go up, meaning your capacity for acceptance can go down.
  • Accepting people want to offer love even in the midst of differences.

Let’s Talk Question

In what circumstances do you find it most difficult to show acceptance? Why is that?

Jan 17, 2017

Most people ending a marriage will state that they saw signs prior to marriage suggesting the relationship was not all it needed to be. In this podcast we will identify twelve qualities that need to be in place so you can move forward in a budding relationship with confidence. By knowing what to look for, your decision to commit to a long term relationship will be built upon more than just raw emotionalism.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Reflective thinking is a solid indicator that a potential partner is able and willing to explore ways to grow personally.
  • Being in love involves much more than feeling wonderful; it has many other dimensions that need to be identified.
  • Good relationships don’t just happen. They involve much forethought and planning.

Let’s Talk Question:

What are your top 3 qualities that must be in place in order to know the relationship is built upon a solid foundation?

Jan 10, 2017

Commonly when individuals live in a very pleasing manner, they have too much of a good thing. The commitment to kindness can become a burden when it is not also balanced by firmness. In this episode we will examine ten ways to make sure your pleasing qualities are accompanied by firmness.

Something to Think about: 

  • People pleasers can sometimes allow others to rob them of basic dignity.
  • There are times when pleasers need to express their emotions and needs more freely.
  • Sometimes you are doing others a favor when you actually say no.

Let’s Talk Question:

When might you be inclined to be too pleasing to the extent that it hinders your ability to be true to the real you?

Jan 3, 2017

Description:

Some individuals have such a deep history of looking at the negative side of life that they develop a reputation of chronic moodiness. This is a learned pattern, which means it can be unlearned and reversed. In this episode we will examine ways to reverse this tendency so a more upbeat approach toward life can emerge.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Chronically frustrated people have yet to learn how to manage anger so it can lead to constructive adjustments.
  • Rather that playing the inferior-superior game, you can begin relationships with the belief in human equality.
  • As you choose to build another person’s feeling of significance, your own feeling of significance rises.

Let’s Talk Question:

Why do you suppose some people actually choose to camp out on the negative side of life? What needs to change so they can see life’s positives more clearly?

Dec 27, 2016

Description:

When you confront or express a frustration, there is a high potential for the other person to reverse the course of words right back onto you. That’s called boomerang communication. Words and emotions are invalidated and tension explodes on the scene. In this podcast we will discuss how to keep that form of communication from escalating.

Something to Think about:

 

  • When you respond to a confrontation with a quick retort, you indicate that your communication is driven by fear.
  • Once boomerang communication begins, so does an emotional power struggle.
  • While it may not feel natural to show understanding when you disagree, that can be a quick way to keep differences manageable.

Let’s Talk Question:

Why do you suppose it can be so easy to respond to a confrontation with a comment like: “Me? What about you?”

Dec 20, 2016

Description:

For a marriage to function at its best, each partner needs to be willing to look out for the other’s best interests. As couples operate with a team spirit, they demonstrate love in all sorts of small, but significant gestures. This podcast will identify seven distinct ways that servitude can be illustrated inside a marriage.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Servitude is not a duty but a privilege.
  • Servants understand that the other person has needs requiring  coordination inside the relationship.
  • Being an effective servant requires you to think from the other person’s perspective.

 

Let’s Talk Question:

In what ways is your marriage strengthened when you and your partner willingly serve each other?

Dec 13, 2016

Description:

When laughter is absent from a home, it is usually a sign of trouble. Conversely, when family members can enjoy funny stories or events, many good things can result. Humor has a way of creating bonding and it also diminishes our tendencies toward stress, anger, and tension. In this podcast we will explore the good that can come from this trait.

Something to Think about:

 

  • As a general rule, when people laugh consistently they are actually less prone to physical disease.
  • Humor teaches humility...in a good way.
  • Humor allows others to see you as approachable and the result can be stronger relational bonds.

 

Let’s Talk Question:

In your home, how does humor make a difference as you and your partner face life’s challenges?

Dec 6, 2016

Description:

Quite commonly your comments or questions can be met with an agitated response even when there is no good reason for the agitation. Sometimes individuals just assume a hostile stance in communication, and this can create immediate problems. In this segment, we will examine ways to keep hostility from popping out, especially when there are cleaner ways to interact.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Often argumentative responses are given when a simple informative response would be just fine.
  • Individuals may respond with hostility because they have been conditioned to believe trouble is just around the corner.
  • Rather than contributing to a hostile home atmosphere, you can choose objectivity as your first line of response.

Let’s Talk Question:

Why do you suppose some people react with quick agitation even when it is not necessary?

Nov 29, 2016

Description:

Happiness can be experienced in many forms, ranging from inner contentment to hilarious laughter. Getting there is the result of intentional efforts to invest in relationships and in goodness. In this podcast we will highlight multiple ways to make happiness an ongoing part of your life.

Something to Think about:

 

  • To be happy, you have to adjust your expectations in a realistic direction.
  • People who like to serve also have greater episodes of happiness.
  • Appreciating simplicity is directly linked to a life of joy.

Let’s Talk Question:

What are the top three or four things in your life that bring consistent happiness?

Nov 22, 2016

Few people like to think of themselves as broken, but the longer you live, you will be susceptible to unwanted difficulties. Your challenge is to take your broken moments as a sort of laboratory experience, using them to produce good from your strains. In this podcast we will gain inspiration from a pianist who did just that, and we will discuss turning sorrow into strength.

Something to Think about

In this episode, we identified that:

  • Broken people deliberately choose to use their experiences to produce good, not bitterness. They understand the role of choice.
  • Broken people are positioned to act as fellow sojourners with those they encounter along life’s way.
  • Broken people can determine to be lifelong learners.

Let's Talk

“What heartaches have you experienced that could prompt you to be a more sincere, loving presence to those who draw near to you? How does this work?”

Nov 15, 2016

Description:

When some people use the phrase “We’ve fallen out of love,” it can be the direct result of very serious problems like an affair, abuse, or gross irresponsibility. At other times, though, when that phrase is used it can really mean, “We’ve grown apart,” and that is something that can be addressed. When chemistry and high feelings fade, you can still choose love as a way of life, not as a duty but as an intentional mindset.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Attitudes and character can be confronted and adjusted.
  • As you strengthen communication skills and as you learn to monitor emotions well, lost love can be revived.
  • When you have lived together for a significant time, something other than good feelings has to guide you in your quest to find love, and that something is free choice.

Let’s Talk Question:

What good can come to a relationship when you realize that wonderful feelings are not enough to sustain a viable connection?

Nov 8, 2016

Description:

Sometimes when people say “that’s just the way I am,” it is a flimsy way of indicating a stubborn refusal to make needed adjustments. Being who you are is great...as long as you are honest with yourself about the motives and repercussions of your behaviors. In this podcast we will examine how stubbornness can hinder relational healthiness.

Something to Think about:

 

  • Every person has blind spots, meaning it is never a good thing to presume that change is unnecessary.
  • Healthy relationships are typified by “give and take” exchanges.
  • The more powerfully you insist upon being right, the less influence you have.

Let’s Talk Question:

Why do you suppose some people hide behind the phrase: “That’s just the way I am”?

Nov 1, 2016

Description:

Too commonly people manage tensions by going into a deep form of withdrawal that indicates punishment and contempt. While there are actually times when withdrawal can be a necessary tactic, it need not be accompanied by a message of rejection. In this episode we will examine how to find seek time for individual reflection even as relationship issues are in play.

Something to Think about:

 

  • If your withdrawal illustrates feelings of deep contempt, the relationship is probably in major trouble.
  • If you need time to gather your thoughts and feelings, you can choose to do so in a constructive fashion.
  • Controlling behaviors are likely to lead to out of control emotions.

Let’s Talk Question:

Why do you suppose some people use the tactic of punishing withdrawal? What is the common result?

Oct 25, 2016

Because we tend to think of anger in mostly negative terms, we can overlook the fact that sometimes anger has a legitimate function. It is an emotion of self-preservation and can prompt the individual to stand firmly for valid needs and convictions. That said, it can be easily misused, so it is important for the angry person to pause long enough to discern how to match the legitimate message of anger with a respectful manner of communication.


Something to Think about:
At the base of anger there tends to be a hunger for dignity and respect.
You can be stable in your emotional expressions even if the other person does not receive your message well.
Healthy anger requires common sense, beginning with the notion that no one likes to be insulted.


Let’s Talk Question:
What causes you to communicate a legitimate message of anger in a disrespectful manner? What adjustment in thinking could help you communicate the emotion cleanly?

Oct 18, 2016

Description:
While a superficial assumption may lead you to conclude that controllers are self-assured and confident, they are in fact quite insecure. Controllers set themselves up for inner tension by presuming they cannot be satisfied as long as others do not conform. Common sense tells us, though, that high control people have diminishing appeal since their behaviors tend to bring out the worst in relations.

Something to Think about:
The more you control, others look for ways to operate without you.
Controlling behaviors diminish the potential for love.
Secure people know that others are drawn in by love, understanding, and patience.

Let’s Talk Question:
In what ways does the controlling person operate with delusional thinking as they try to force others into a mold?

Oct 11, 2016

Description

Shadow people can be described as those you encounter who are not at the center of your relational world, but who play small roles in your overall life. They might be waitresses, store clerks, or neighborhood acquaintances. Your manner of interaction with shadow people can reveal much about your overall emotional healthiness, and that is what we will explore in this episode.


Something to Think about:
Your interactions with shadow people illustrate your overall commitment to kindness and love.
As you engage with shadow people you reveal your understanding of human dignity.
To be consistently pleasant toward shadow people you must keep your ego in check.


Let’s Talk Question:
What would be some good examples of the shadow people in your world? How would you describe your overall philosophy in your treatment of these people?

Oct 4, 2016

Description:
The way you respond to disagreements goes a long way in demonstrating your emotional maturity. Many people, when faced with conflict, elect to go into an invalidating style of communication. Your task is to recognize this, then to accept the challenge to stay on a course of constructive communication, despite the temptation to respond rudely.


Something to Think about:

  • When a person invalidates, it is more of a commentary about that person than about you.
  • Instead of attacking or defending unnecessarily, you can set the pace by being objective, seeking clarification.
  • Even when you do not get the desired response as you attempt to stay healthy, you can determine to rise above bad habits.


Let’s Talk Question:
When you feel invalidated, what adjustments will you need to make as you attempt to respond with a constructive attitude?

Sep 20, 2016

Description

There is no denying that denial is a major problem in marital communication. Denial is a defense mechanism indicating fear and insecurity. It leaves others feeling invalidated and dismissed, and the net result is stagnation in personal growth. To eliminate denial, begin with the realization that there is much that could be gained by receiving input. Listening (as opposed to invalidating) can help you grow.


Something to Think about:

  • Every person interprets events differently, meaning you can learn from others’ input.
  • Secure people can handle less-than-flattering input.
  • You can’t improve as a person if you begin with the assumption there is nothing left to learn.


Let’s Talk Question:

In what circumstances is denial most common in your home? How does denial impact the overall home atmosphere?

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