Often when we experience suffering in the emotional or relational realm, we immediately wonder how to make it go away. Yet while suffering is not pleasant, lessons may be gleaned from it. Pain, though uncomfortable, is there for a reason. As you respond to it, you can find wisdom as you tend to the messages inherent in that situation.
As you have examined your painful circumstances, what good and necessary lessons have you learned?
Often when tensions arise, the prevailing question can be: “What am I supposed to do?” While this is not necessarily a bad question, a more penetrating thought might be: “Who can I be in this moment?” In this podcast we will focus on the ways your “being” can carry you when “doing” doesn’t seem to solve the problem.
In what circumstances have you found that your “being” is more influential than your “doing”?
When you are involved in a relationship as significant as marriage, you will need a clear focus on who you (plural) are and where you are going. In this podcast we specify 10 core values that are of utmost importance as you work together to keep marriage meaningful.
What are the most important 3 or 4 core values you share with your partner?
Affairs happen for a reason; they do not just occur by chance. In this podcast we will examine five of the most common qualities that factor into the making an affair. Our purpose is to assist you in figuring out how to respond if an affair has occurred, or better yet, to show you what to address up front so an affair can be averted.
If a couple is deliberating about the best ways to affair-proof their marriage, what do you suppose are the most important ingredients that need to be in place?
Having connections with people of the opposite gender is both inevitable and normal. That stated, it is good to know how to manage yourself in those relationships so they will not cross the line into an inappropriate bond. In this podcast we will identify ten ways to establish and maintain healthy boundaries so your marriage will be honored even as you interact with people of the opposite sex.
What boundaries do you and your spouse have in place that create confidence in maintaining connections with the opposite gender?
It is quite common for others to presume they can or should define who you are supposed to be and how you ought to feel and prioritize. In those cases, that represents a violation of relationship boundaries. Rather that collapsing in despair or trying to justify your legitimacy, you can choose to hold confidently to your own uniqueness.
Give us an example of a time when others have not respected your boundaries. In that situation, how might you respond reasonably, even when it is probable that the other person will not agree?
In part, healthy relationships are defined by an open spirit. Some, however, struggle to know how revealing they can afford to be, and the result is a closed nature. In this podcast we will identify 8 reasons people can relate with a closed spirit, then we will discuss how to adjust so your communication style will not be hindered by a guarded, calculated nature.
When are you inclined to be non-revealing? What stress might be driving your behavior in that moment?
If gratitude is not the most important ingredient for a successful manner of life it is one of the most important. When you naturally see and act upon goodness, your influence increases. Your emotions become more steady. You find contentment more readily. In this podcast you will be challenged to examine your levels of gratitude.
What are the top 4 or 5 aspects of life you are most grateful for?
In every close relationship there is the potential for being misunderstood, dismissed, or scolded. When those moments occur, it is common to respond with defensiveness or anger. As an alternative, though, you could learn to adjust your thoughts in a manner that would allow self-directed trust to guide your responses. In this episode we will explore how inner trust leads to calm reactions.
Why is it difficult or unnatural to respond to an unfair confrontation with calm self-trust?
Once an extra-marital affair is exposed, emotions become erratic and communications can be difficult. Because of the sensitivity of the situation, reason needs to be applied. This podcast gives an overview of twelve areas that need to be addressed so the people involved will have the highest potential of responding to this marital intrusion as constructively as possible.
Something to Think about:
Responding to an emotionally loaded situation with no plan in place will only increase frayed feelings.
A broad array of topics need to be explored so individuals and couples can move forward with confidence that growth can happen in the aftermath of an affair.
Once an affair has happened, the couple faces a fork in the road, with one possibility leading to further disruption and the other leading to maturation.
Let’s Talk Question:
As you face the prospect of responding to an extra-marital affair, what are the top issues that you feel need to be examined most carefully?
You can tell much about a person’s character by observing how they manage the seemingly small matters in relationships. You cannot expect people to be at their best in difficult moments when they give low priority to goodness in mundane incidents. This episode will highlight the good that develops when individuals develop a habit of goodness in small relational episodes.
What impact do you feel when you are a part of a random act of kindness?
Many people allow events and circumstances to bring out qualities that run counter to what they want to be. This implies that others are setting their pace for them. In this podcast we will look at the alternative of you establishing who you want to be even when it means not going along with the prevailing mood.
When are you most susceptible (at home, in public, with extended family) to letting someone else set your pace? Why do you suppose that happens?
When individuals act impatiently they are so intent on pushing events to the finish line that they actually make the task all the more difficult. Living with balanced patience might feel like you are taking a slower path, yet the results can be much more satisfactory and timely. In this episode we will discuss the ingredients that go into the making of a patient manner of relating.
What adjustments will you need to make so patience can be a more consistent trait in your relationships?
When strains and tensions arise it is very common for couples to lean into the conflict with agitation and stubbornness. It may feel counter-intuitive, but those are precisely the moments when your calmness is needed most. This episode will explore the traits needed to create peace instead of volatility.
Why do you suppose it is difficult to remain peaceful when another person seems to be in a combative frame of mind?
Official studies confirm what common sense tells us: Homes that give priority to expressions of thanks have higher levels of contentment. As simple as this notion seems, many minimize a grateful spirit as criticism and annoyance dominate. This episode will highlight various ways to set the stage for gratitude to be center stage.
What happens within you when you are the recipient of your partner’s expressions of gratitude?
There is no shortage of scenarios requiring self-restraint. You may have unhealthy emotional outbursts, quick judgments, spending sprees, poor eating habits, or excessive alcohol consumption (to name just a few). With each situation, measured choices are greatly preferred over impulses of the moment. This episode will discuss the need for self-restraint and how to attain it.
In what circumstances is self-restraint difficult for you? What adjustments will you need to make as you tackle this issue?
When strains are openly addressed within marriage, it is far too common to focus on what the other person should do in order to make things right. The alternative is to have a clear self-focus anchored in wisdom and discernment. As you plan who you want to be despite unfriendly responses, you can become a model worthy of following.
Why do people press so hard to make others change, as opposed to focusing instead on personal initiatives?
Anxiety can be understood as a result of unresolved conflicts. Specifically, anxious people tend to struggle with fear, anger, and control. In this episode we will identify the nature of anxiety for the purpose of learning how to keep that emotion from playing a prominent role in your primary relationships.
In what circumstances does anxiety become problematic in your life? What healthy alternatives do you have in those moments?
Rather than looking at life as driven solely by function and duty, spiritually minded people have an understanding that life is guided by an overarching meaning. They are driven by a desire to accentuate love in each element of daily living. As spirituality takes over, their influence becomes enhanced because others can more clearly appreciate an outpouring of their respect for human dignity.
As you have aged, how has your understanding of spirituality changed?
While you cannot always choose what your circumstances will bring, you can choose your attitudes. This podcast focuses on 4 primary beliefs espoused by the late Viktor Frankl who penned his thoughts about a successful life after living through the horrors of the Holocaust. You will be challenged to receive his message of meaning and apply it to everyday life experiences.
What key beliefs do you hold that give you a sense of meaning in your roles within the family?
Differences in close relationships cannot be avoided. When they arise, what is your tendency? You can use the moment to be destructive or you can use it to destroy. In this segment we will examine how to respond to relational differences in ways that can make you a more well-rounded person and can take your relationship to a higher plane.
What adjustments could you make as you choose to respond to differences constructively?
When a person engages in an extramarital affair, it is inevitably accompanied by deception and deservedness (an attitude of entitlement). For healing to move forward, these two ingredients need to be removed as thoroughly as possible. This episode will explore the nature of deception and deservedness so you can learn if trust can be rebuilt.
How much questioning and probing is fair as one partner tries to come to terms with the other partner’s infidelity?
When conflicts arise, communication can be laced with strong emotion which can then lead to badgering (griping, accusing, bossiness, repetitions, insistence, etc). Your task is to recognize the futility of badgering so you don’t make a bad situation worse. This episode will explain 5 key ideas that will set you up to be a calming presence in a potentially volatile situation
When the communication in your home becomes too agitated, what poor responses might you offer? What are your better alternatives?
Unfortunately disappointment and tension is inevitable is close relationships, especially as unwanted circumstances arise. In those moments, some succumb to the word “can’t.” They can assume (falsely) a complete lack of choice in the moment. This episode will explore four ways to reorient your thinking so you will not become emotionally paralyzed by “can’t.”
In what circumstances do you falsely conclude that you have no choice?
One of the great minds of the 20th century was that of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. While he is most known for political commentary, his philosophies are amazingly relevant for the home life too. In this episode we will identify 10 life lessons that are a direct spin-off from his core beliefs about dignity and the life of true contentment.
If you prioritized respect for others and a willingness to be content within yourself, how would your behaviors and communications at home be most powerfully impacted?