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6 Exciting Reasons to Lie to Your Spouse

excited couple


Do you ever get tired of hearing honesty is the best policy? What about a little white lie or a crumb of dishonesty? The expectation for complete honesty in marriage is so restrictive and closed minded. Just because lying has a negative connotation doesn’t mean you can’t lie to your spouse. Lying can produce exciting results in your marriage. If you’ve been looking for permission to lie, you’re in luck; I’ve compiled a list of 6 exciting reasons to lie to your spouse.

bulldozer

You want to destroy trust.

No worries, trust is only the foundation of any good relationship, houses don’t need foundations. Just bulldoze the foundation, no one in the house will notice.

You hate intimacy.

Lying will make your partner cringe when they see you. This creepy-crawly feeling prevents closeness and good touch. No touching means no sex. Lying to your spouse will end sex forever. What could be better for a relationship than a dry deserted love life?

Arguments and verbal fights are your idea of a good time.

Lying is a great way to turn your marriage into an eternal tennis match of verbal abuse. Nothing is as exciting as knowing you have another emotionally painful argument waiting for you every night.

You’re trying to demolish your family.

A fun close knit family life is easily flushed away by a few lies. Dramatic conflict is a truly effective way to create anxious and angry children. Divorce is a predictable outcome of lying to your spouse.

You have too much money.

Lying is a great way to burn through cash. Lying about money is one of the most common lies people tell their spouse. It takes even more money to cover up the secret money you spent; it’s an exciting game to play and it easily relieves you of all that extra money. If that doesn’t work you can always hire a divorce attorney. They charge hundreds of dollars per hour and are quite skilled at…talking…slowly.

TV dinnerYou want to suffer a cold lonely marriage.

Living disconnected from your spouse is available for only a small investment of dishonesty. Your marriage could feel like eating a lukewarm Salisbury steak TV dinner alone for every meal.

Or you could develop a habit of honesty in your marriage. Your call.

For a less snarky post about honesty and the secret to doing honesty right in marriage read “Honesty is Powerful” <<<Click

Uugghh, You’re So Annoying

annoying couple


Recently I read a fun article from the Today Show. It reminded me of premarital counseling.

Every time I see couples for premarital counseling I have them discuss their expectations for household tasks. The exercise of discussing daily tasks like washing dishes, doing laundry, feeding the pets, and cooking food creates opportunities to discuss tension points. An unbalanced household workload is a MAJOR source of conflict in marriage. Resentment forms quickly when one partner feels they are doing everything around the house and their spouse is a slacker. If you cannot communicate well regarding simple household tasks, deeper, more intimate topics will be impossible to manage.

The article I mentioned from the Today Show is titled ‘Infuriating!’ Here are 5 of the most annoying household habits ever.

The folks at the Today Show did a little survey asking people about their spouse’s most annoying habits. It’s a short article, you should click it quick and read it.

They found the most annoying household habits ever are:

1. Leaving the dirty dishes in the sink

2. Taking other people’s food out of the fridge

3. Putting empty containers back in the fridge

4. Wasting paper towels

5. Not replacing the toilet paper roll

When I read the article I thought ut-oh! I’m guilty. I like paper towels. A lot. I’ll admit to overusing paper towels but in my mind I never waste them. I’m not sure about your house but in our house kids make messes. Ok, I make a lot of messes too but I’d like to think mine are more sophisticated adult messes like exploding spaghetti sauce in the microwave. But I never fear because the paper towel holder is near. I use paper towels for wiping the kitchen counters, cleaning chocolate milk moustaches, gathering smashed banana pieces off the floor, and cleaning out the stray coffee grounds from the coffee maker. Paper towels are clearly superior to a kitchen washrag because the dirty mess goes right into the garbage, not the sink. This saves a few unnecessary steps. My paper towel habit is not saving the trees, but it’s justified because it saves my energy and sanity.

paper towel


After reading the Today Show article I began to wonder if my habit was eroding Hollie’s sanity. Was I unintentionally the most annoying husband ever?

I didn’t know so I texted her “Do you think I use too many paper towels?” with a link to the article.

She responded back “that’s a fun article.”

Kind of left me wondering but at least it wasn’t “YES! It’s super-duper annoying.” So I’m thinking she doesn’t mind much.

If you ever wonder if one of your habits is annoying your spouse,

Think.

Come on now, just think about it for a second. You probably already know you’re annoying in some things because leaving dirty socks next to her pillow is the essence of annoying.

Listen.

You know that sound your spouse makes? It’s called talking. If you listen closely enough you’ll discover they’ve been telling you directly how annoying your habits are. When we grab fast food Hollie and I typically share a large drink. I drink the majority of it and she tells me “hey! You drank it all.” I’m pretty sure that annoys her more than using a bunch of paper towels.

Ask.

If you’re still not sure if your habit is annoying, ask your spouse. Ask them by text, with a silly voice or in a serious moment but ask. If you want to know something, you’ve got to ask. You may not want to know, afraid you’ll need to change. If you ask and your spouse responds “yes, that’s super annoying,” then you’ve put yourself in a position where you’ll either continue making it hard for them to love you or you’ll change your behavior.   

News flash! Changing your annoying habits to make yourself more tolerable and lovable in marriage is a no brainer. Showing you’re willing to do the difficult work of putting your socks in the clothes hamper could work miracles in your marriage.  

All relationships require adjusting. When we were first married I piled up dishes in the sink. As a bachelor my dishes strategy was to conserve effort and wash the dishes only when I had no more clean ones. The pile could build for over a week; I only had to do dishes a few times a month. After we got married I quickly discovered my pile up the dishes strategy wasn’t going to fly anymore. Eventually I learned to adjust and became more diligent about putting the dishes in the dishwasher.

Couples fit into one of two different communication ruts when addressing annoying habits.

Ignore and avoid

The ignore and avoid communication rut looks like couples who try to ignore their partner’s annoying habit. At first this looks like a good strategy, it reduces conflict and prevents sounding like a complainer. The problem is eventually, since the habit is quite annoying, avoidance takes over in everything. The tendency to avoid conflict leads to avoiding contact. Guys who ignore and avoid are silent at home but often have no problem spouting off the annoying habits of their wife when talking to their buddies on the golf course. When spouses avoid contact with each other, love drifts off.

To stop the avoiding communication pattern, be bold. Risk stepping on some toes, you’ll find honest, caring, and direct communication opens doors to really connect with your spouse on a much more intimate level.

Confront and conquer

The confront and conquer communication rut looks like couples who constantly nit pick at each other. Nearly all communication contains a critical tone. When others point out their criticism, they laugh it off and say “we love each other, that’s just how we communicate.” Yikes. Even if they try to shrug it off, the communication pattern is dangerous. Each partner feels attacked and actively defends their actions, usually by a counter attack. “I hate how you’re always coming home late!” “oh yeah? Well if you’d ever make dinner worth eating maybe I’d want to come home.” The attacks continue until one partner is conquered.

To stop the conquer or be conquered communication pattern, chill out. Apologize for your nit picking and give your spouse grace. Putting away your battle weapons will open doors to connect with your spouse in meaningful and intimate ways.

What’s your annoying habit?

How will you communicate with your spouse differently today?

AAA Super Glue for Your Marriage

Super glue Orange


Super Glue is an awesome invention everyone needs in their house. It’s on the Mount Rushmore of must-have fix-it tools for guys. Duct Tape, WD-40, Super Glue, Hammer, Screwdriver.

Super Glue is fast, secure, and well…Super.

In the Lego Movie, super glue was the enemy. You see, Legos are designed to come apart and reconfigured to make different creations. Marriage is different. Marriage is designed to connect and stay connected.

Great marriages strengthen over time through a commitment to togetherness.

But you’re not perfect and life happens.

Your marriage may feel disconnected with pieces chipped off and broken. Conflict can lead to emotional injuries, cracks in your connection. Other times connection simply wears down. The rains of life pound down and before you know it you’ve drifted apart.

Your marriage needs repair; a quick fix to rebuild connection.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could increase connection with your spouse super-fast?

Introducing, AAA Super Glue for your Marriage. It’s fast, secure, and super. And they all start with A, clever, I know.

Appreciation

Appreciating your spouse and communicating it well is a huge predictor of happiness in marriage. Appreciation is a universal desire in close relationships but sadly it’s lacking in many marriages. Lazy people think “I don’t have to tell her I appreciate her, she knows it already” and they miss out on the power of appreciation. Expressing appreciation for your spouse fixes the connection eroded by the irritations and conflict that sneak into your relationship. Appreciation bonds partners together.

To practice appreciation today, tell your spouse three specific things you love about them. Telling them they are a snappy dresser is nice but I challenge you to go beyond surface level observations. Please don’t use this activity to sarcastically comment “wowie, I noticed you stacked all the dishes in the sink last week, that was sure awesome of you, way to go above and beyond in this relationship.” Express your appreciation for them on a deeper level. Share what’s attractive about their personality or how you’ve noticed them doing something you love.

Affection

Have you watched a young couple lately? Young dating couples have a certain way they interact with each other. I call it animated closeness. They look at each other when talking; they stay close and often hold hands. They are affectionate. Elderly couples do this well too. Older couples who show affection for one another inspire me with their sweet confident closeness. The couples in the middle have a harder time with affection. Yes we are busy with careers, children, cars, and critters, all important responsibilities. But when we abandon affection we weaken connection. The great news is; it doesn’t take long to infuse affection into your marriage. And you’ll see the benefits immediately. Physical togetherness promotes emotional closeness.

To practice affection today, touch your spouse. Sit close to them with a flirtatious smile. Give them a kiss and hold their hand. Think about your dating days and how you acted toward each other. Don’t worry if your kids think it’s silly, it’s good for them to see you showing affection. It provides security knowing their parents love each other and it models appropriate affection as they explore what it means to be in relationship.

Awareness

Living without awareness is like talking on the phone after the call was dropped. You’re going through the motions of marriage but you don’t even know if you’re connected. First become aware of your emotions. The better you understand yourself and your reactions the better you can connect with your spouse. Next, pay attention to what is going on emotionally for your spouse. Become a student of your spouse and really listen to them. If your spouse is angry help them vent. If they’re sad, allow them to cry and comfort them. If they’re exhausted, take a deep breath together and find ways to give them a break.

To practice awareness today, ask your spouse what they are feeling. If your spouse is not used to talking about feelings ask them what has them stressed today. Then listen. You’ll need to put your phone away and focus on listening to your spouse. Listening is not a passive activity like watching TV. Then listen without judging or thinking of how to respond. Once they are able to share their heart, thank them and tell them you are working on becoming more aware of what’s going on in their heart.  

No matter what is broken in your relationship appreciation, affection, and awareness will help you reconnect quickly and securely. Now that’s super!

I can’t wait to hear what happened in your relationship when you applied AAA Super Glue today.

Super Glue squeezed

Facing Life and Death Moments in Marriage

couple on beach


This post is deeply personal. It’s somber and serious, joyful and hopeful, this is our story today.

Life is going to throw you hard stuff. I wish it wasn’t true but sometime in your marriage, probably without notice, you’ll face a crisis. Financial crisis. Medical crisis. Employment crisis. Parenting crisis. Emotional crisis. It feels like every day we learn about another couple facing desperate situations.

My mother-in-law passed away last week, September 1, 2016. She was an amazing lady who endured so much suffering in her life and still she remained full of faith and hope. The last eight months of her illness launched us out of our comfort zone and her passing leaves us extra emotional. We’re leaning heavily on God’s unfailing love as we fell the full impact of loss. 

When you find yourself facing life and death moments in your marriage:

Commit to what’s most important.

Crisis has a way of re-prioritizing life. Focus on relationships in the midst of crisis. Other goals and activities dim in importance when you are faced with a life or death situation. It’s not enough to identify your priorities, you must then commit to them.

Build a firm foundation.

No matter what season you’re in right now, invest in your marriage heavily. There’s no telling when you’ll face an impossible situation forcing you to rely on the foundation you’ve built. A feeble foundation won’t last when storms blow into your life. The foundation of trust and love Hollie and I have built over the years has provided us a solid marriage foundation from which we’ve launched into the scary unknown.

Communicate love.

Everyday, and especially when facing crisis, you must communicate love with your spouse. I believe every form of communication in marriage adds to or takes away from connection. Focus on providing affirming words to your spouse. The details about the dishwasher and the soccer schedule can wait. Use every opportunity when hearts are broken to pour love into your spouse.  

Allow for emotion.

Speaking of broken hearts and emotion, when you’re facing desperate times, expect a variety of emotions. Anger, sadness, joy, disgust, and fear are all invited to this party. Although it can feel like uncontrolled chaos it’s important to express your emotion. Properly expressed and validated emotion begins the process of regulating emotions.

Look for bright spots.

Crisis is certainly a stormy season but if you look closely you’ll find a silver lining or a ray of sunshine eventually. Hollie and I have enjoyed times of celebration when we’ve witnessed a medical miracle or remember the humor in her mom’s voice.

Let distance grow fondness.

You may have heard the saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” It’s been true for us while we’ve lived 500 miles apart. But distance only grows fondness if you commit to connecting and build anticipation for your return.  

Recognize exhaustion.

Exhaustion, especially emotional exhaustion, is a brutal bugger. It will drain you of your ability to think and respond rationally. That’s ok. You’re allowed exhaustion when facing difficult circumstances day after day. The important part is to recognize exhaustion as an understandable response rather than a personality flaw.

Appreciate facing big deeply profound moments together.

Hollie and I experience amazing times of connection simply by noticing how profound these moments are in our life. Facing life and death moments will either divide and destroy your marriage or strengthen your connection. Hold each other close and resolve to face the storms together. Reflecting on the enormity of the moments we’ve shared provides remarkable perspective on the privilege of being married to my best friend.

Rely on God.

Facing the scary unknown has drawn us closer to the one who holds the future and loves us more than we can grasp. We have found strength in weakness as we desperately ask God for continual direction and healing. The most intimate activity spouses can experience is praying together fully relying on God.  

What would you add to this list?

Share what helped you face life and death moments in your marriage.

The 10 Commandments for Couples



happy couple


Wouldn’t it be great if we had a list of instructions for great marriages? Maybe a top ten list would do the trick. But it would have to be written by an authority, someone who knows about people and marriage. A real expert who has helped couples not only survive marriage but thrive and build a wonderful marriage.

In my research I found the perfect list written by the perfect author.

The 10 Commandments as given to Moses by God. (Deuteronomy 5:3)

  1. You must have no other gods before me.
  2. Do not make an idol for yourself-no form whatsoever-of anything in the sky or above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.
  3. Do not use the LORD your God’s name as if it were of no significance.
  4. Keep the Sabbath day and treat it as holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother so your life will be long and so that things will go well for you.
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Do not commit adultery.
  8. Do not steal.
  9. Do not testify falsely.
  10. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife.

Given that God is the ultimate authority and truly loves you, I’d stick to His top ten.

As a marriage blogger I adapted the Ten Commandments slightly to show how they help us love our spouse and enjoy a wonderful marriage.

The 10 Commandments for couples

  1. Keep God number one in your life, like he says, but put your spouse before all the other people in your life. Yes, even kids.
  2. Don’t let anything replace a real face-to-face relationship with your spouse. Texting each other can be sweet but technology can never duplicate true connection.
  3. Do not discard marriage as insignificant.
  4. Take time to relax and have fun together. Stop being so busy and slow down enough to enjoy each other.
  5. Be nice to your in-laws and your marriage will be long and life will go well for you.
  6. Build up your spouse. Don’t kill their spirit by complaining or criticizing.
  7. Do not commit adultery. It seems pretty basic but adultery destroys marriages every day.
  8. Don’t be selfish. Your marriage will suffocate if you make it all about you and your needs.
  9. Don’t lie. Honesty is the best policy in marriage. Lying always destroys trust in relationships.
  10. Desiring something that’s not for you will harm your marriage. Stay away from pornography. It robs you of true intimacy. The verse in the Bible goes on to say do not crave anything that belongs to your neighbor. Focus on your own marriage and count your blessings rather than compare yourself to others.

When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses it was not a drop the mic moment where God delivered his commands and left the stage. It was only a part of the ongoing story of God redeeming his people and showing them how to live to the fullest. Likewise, the ten commandments for couples should be viewed as a springboard for relationship. The real beauty of a wonderful marriage is the connection built between lovers who love each other to the fullest.

On a scale of 1-10 how are you doing at following The 10 Commandments for Couples?


(Scripture references taken from the Common English Bible translation)

 

The 10 Commandments for Couples


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