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She Sheds and a 3-Step Recipe for a Happy Marriage

Recently I came across this short article from Today.com describing a new trend. She sheds.

How my ‘She Shed’ improved my marriage

She sheds are a place, like a shed, designed as a type of hideaway for women. The separate place is intended to serve as a retreat in which they can reduce distractions and relax. The unique private place allows space to feed her soul and help her recharge.

It’s somewhat of a play on the concept of a man cave, a space where a man can enjoy “manly things” typically a big TV with sports or adventure movies playing loudly on surround sound. A man cave provides space for him to retreat into his interests.

I love the idea of a she shed. When my wife gets tired and overwhelmed with the three boys in her life, I’ll just send her to the shed. Oh, that’s right, I don’t have a tool shed. We keep the tools in the garage. Perhaps she would like to spend some relaxing time in the she garage?

She sheds sound about as realistic as living on the moon. Where are the children of these women with she sheds? I’m sure every mother would like (needs) a she shed where she can get away temporarily but is that even possible? Mothers often can’t even use the toilet without young children interrupting. I’m sure no three year old is going to understand and respect the intended privacy of mom’s getaway sanctuary in the back yard.

Kidding aside, this she shed seems awesome. The owner of this she shed, Barbara Techel, is a blogger who uses her she shed to write her blog and her books. Now that is something I could use.

My favorite part of the short article is the quote by the author talking about how her she shed has benefited her marriage. Barbara says about her husband John:

He “gets it” and understands that by honoring and respecting my needs, in turn, it makes for a happy wife. Which in turn makes for a happy husband. And yes, a happy marriage.

Now that’s a great 3-step recipe for a wonderfully happy marriage.

  1. Understand your spouse’s needs.

    Understanding your spouse may feel like an impossible task. Start by asking them. Say “Hey babe, what are your needs.” Perhaps not every spouse will easily articulate their needs. Our deeper emotional needs often feel risky to share. Our wants are often much easier to identify because they don’t have the emotional consequences or the risk of rejection. Communicating your deeper emotional needs is a skill you must intentionally develop. Sharing with your spouse on an emotional level will dramatically improve your connection in marriage. When you ask your spouse what their needs are be prepared to implement the next ingredient in the happy marriage.

  2. Honor and respect their needs.

    It’s critical, once you have discovered and understand your spouse’s needs, to validate them as important. It’s not enough to simply understand, you must take action. For Barbara Techel’s husband, John, it meant building her a she shed to provide for her need to have her own space. You don’t have to convert your tool shed into a retreat center or turn your formal dining room into a sports center man cave. For you, respecting your spouse’s needs could look very different. It could be providing relaxation for your spouse by putting the kids to bed while she enjoys a bath or taking a family vacation to the ocean.

  3. Enjoy a happy spouse and a happy marriage.

    The only part left is to celebrate and enjoy a happy marriage. I’m not sure about Barbara and John but I have a feeling they don’t spend all of their time in their separate spaces. Happy couples know how to connect emotionally and provide appropriate space in their marriage. They are happy because relational needs are met and therefore both their time together and away from each other benefits their connection. Perhaps a she shed will meet your needs and improve your marriage. However you and your spouse are able to meet each others needs, a happy marriage ultimately comes from wonderful connection to each other.


View the original article by Barbara Techel on her blog, Joyful Paws

Watch Barbara Techel being interviewed on Weekend Sunrise, the Australian version of the Today Show.

View pictures of a variety she sheds


Go Deeper.

If you want to learn more about how to communicate for better connection in your marriage you are in luck. I’m putting the finishing touches on my new course

30 Days of Better Communication 

30 Days of Better Communication consists of 30 daily lessons to help you enjoy better connection in your marriage through better communication. Launch date is July 1. Make sure to join my email list to get all the details and be the first to receive it.

5 Affirmations Every Mom Should Hear From Their Husband Every Day. (Especially on Mother’s Day)

Photo by Debbie Brown brownstudios.com
Photo by Debbie Brown brownstudios.com

Moms are the best.

They supply the world with generous unconditional love. Moms deserve to know the impact of their work because the pressure of mothering can be heavy at times. Mommy guilt is the feeling moms get when they feel inadequate in their efforts to fulfill all the expectations in life. In those moments they worry about their priorities and feel they should have done something different. Husbands, you can’t prevent all of these feelings but you can greatly reduce them by affirming her. Sharing positive comments about your wife’s mothering skills is a great way to instantly improve your marriage. Notice her efforts and remind her of your love and gratitude for who she is and what she does. Share these five affirmations with your wife everyday for a wonderful marriage.

  1. You are a good mom. Parenting has a way of leading to self-doubt. When the frustrations of caring for kids overwhelm, it’s easy to be discouraged. Your wife should hear from you “you are a good mom.” If she protests, gently persist with specific examples.

  2. We can do this together. Marriage is a partnership in all aspects and parenting works best when it’s a team sport. Embrace the shared goal of raising kids into functioning adults. When she knows you are truly in it together, the load of the task is not quite as heavy.

  3. Your work is valuable. To really love your wife, affirm her efforts and daily activities. Tell her the actions she takes are noticed and you are grateful for her work. If your wife cares for your kids full time make sure to notice and affirm the little miracles she performs every day. Mothers who work outside the home need to feel supported and appreciated for their work at the office and raising kids.

  4. I love you. Affirming your love for her is always important. Sure, we overuse the word love for everything. “I love bacon, I love power tools, I love Netflix.” But declaring your love in a relationship IS special. Remind her daily of your commitment to love her. Simply saying “I love you” communicates you notice her and are emotionally available and responsive.

  5. It’s ok to rest. Mothering is exhausting and never ending. It’s also probably a lot of work being married to you. Mothers frequently have the internal pressure to continue performing and striving. That’s good, it ensures the survival of humanity. But mothers also need to know physical and emotional rest is appropriate. Give your wife the go ahead to rest and then get busy providing her the opportunity to rest when needed.

Affirmations work best when you use both words and actions. Telling her is good, showing her is awesome, doing both is magic.



You may also like: 5 Affirmations Every WIFE Should Hear From Her Husband Every Day. Learn what to say first when you give a compliment and what to say first when you are arguing. Hint: The subtle difference will make all the difference.

The Funny Thing About Humor in Marriage (And 6 principles for more fun in your marriage)

Laughing couple

Humor and fun are critical to a great marriage.

The more humor you have in your marriage the more fun your marriage will become. Having fun together is seriously one of the best things for strengthening your connection in marriage.

See what I did there? Fun is serious. So poetic.

I wish I could say life is always fun and only awesome things happen when you are married. Life has served my wife Hollie and I a dose of serious in the last few months. We’ve struggled at times to find humor in life in the midst of worry and uncertainty. In seasons of stress and chaos humor seems far away. It may take time to trudge through the desert but always be on the lookout for the oasis of humor in your marriage.

oasis

2 benefits of humor in your marriage.

  1. Laughing is healthy. I’m not a doctor but humor is good for your body. I came across a great article on the 7 Health Benefits of Laughter If you clicked on the link you will notice they suggested one of the benefits of laughing is an ab workout. That’s probably a bit of a stretch, I doubt anyone has ever developed a six pack simply from laughing. The other 6 seem legit and having fun is clearly good for your body.
  2. Having fun is well…fun. Having fun is a benefit enough. If you don’t have humor in your marriage you likely think marriage sucks. When you make your marriage fun you will like it more. You don’t have the wrong partner, your marriage is not a doomed, you simply have a fun deficit.

2 common ways couples fail at humor

Just like honesty, you can do humor wrong in marriage.

  1. Refrain from the humor blame game. Saying “It’s your fault we never have any fun” isn’t funny and it kills the mood. Blaming your spouse for the lack of fun in your marriage is damaging to your connection. If your marriage is dull, come together and think of a solution, not an excuse.
  2. Using your spouse as an object of critical humor is the worst. Many comedians specialize in putting people down as their brand of dark humor. This is a terrible idea for marriage. There is nothing worse than using humor to criticize. “I was just kidding” doesn’t even start to undo all the hurt from the cutting remarks you made to others at the expense of your spouse.

2 ways to regain humor in your marriage

  1. Remember the fun times you’ve had together. Recalling time in the past when you laughed is a good way to rekindle fun. Think of inside jokes and crazy stories you share. A while back I got locked in a bathroom at a funeral. The little bathroom was right next to the seating area of the funeral chapel. The door knob was old fashioned, the type that wobble too much. The door knob wouldn’t open the door. I panicked and shook the door knob as vigorously as possible to avoid disturbing the somber funeral gathering only feet away. I ended up knocking on the door while inside. Thankfully my wife rescued me by opening the door from the outside. We looked at each other wide-eyed and shared a silent-as-appropriate-for-a-funeral laugh.door knob
  2. Do something fun with your spouse today. Recently Hollie and I went to see comedian Ken Davis. It was a great way to relax and enjoy good humor together. It’s true, delaying pleasure to meet long term goals is a sign of self control and wisdom, but all work and no play makes a dull and boring marriage. There is deep wisdom in joy. Enjoying time with your spouse is one of the best investments you can make in life. You have permission to have fun with your spouse. Go get ‘em and have some fun. Today.

BONUS tip:

Have fun with other couples. A few years ago Hollie and I went to see the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in person. It was a blast seeing behind the scenes of the show and getting to shake his hand when he walked out on stage. The thing I remember most is how much the audience laughed. I enjoy a good Jay Leno joke but when I was in the audience live, I laughed at everything. Laughing with others is powerful and more fun.


If you are serious about having fun I have a recommendation: Listen to my friend’s podcast “Shop Talk with Ken

ShoptalkheaderMy friend Ken Moore is funny. His podcast “Shop Talk with Ken” is pure random fun. Listening to Ken’s podcast is almost as fun as hanging out with Ken. He’s a natural humorist, umm the word humorist sounds way too formal, simply said he’s a funny guy. I especially enjoy his podcast because it’s clean humor without all the crude of some comedy shows.

From time to time I write a funny blog post about marriage. For more fun check out these other funny posts from MakeSomeWonderful.com

The Miracle Technology Every Marriage Needs

6 Terrible Dating Techniques of Taco Bell Guy and What to Do Instead

A Hot Valentine’s Day

Mending Your Relationship with God and Your Spouse

mending heart

There once was a man who had two sons. The younger son said to his father “give me my inheritance now.” So the father gave him his inheritance early and he took off with the money to a distant land. He soon squandered all of his money and found himself destitute and desperate. He thought to himself “even my father’s hired men have food to eat and here I am starving. I will go to my father and tell him I am no longer worthy to be his son and beg him to be one of his hired men.” When he was still far away his father saw him and ran to him, embraced him, and welcomed him home. The father was overjoyed his son had returned and threw a royal party in his honor.

Jesus told this parable of a lost son (It’s recorded in the Bible in the book of Luke chapter 15). I love how his story illustrates a relationship injured then mended.

Grace offered, grace accepted. Party. It’s the winning method for mending and strengthening relationships.

Your relationship with God and your spouse are the two most important relationships in your life. Mending these relationships will benefit all other relationships.

[I’m co-authoring this post with my sister Joy Lindner. She is an ordained minister and the pastor at the Juliaetta Idaho Church of the Nazarene.]

Mending your relationship with God.

God has made us for relationship with him and desires an intimate connection with us as his dearly loved children. But our relationship with God is broken by sin, by the selfish choices we make, by our pride that says we can do just fine without God.

  1. We mess up. Our first step is to admit our sin and acknowledge how our choices have broken the relationship. Yet, by ourselves, we are not capable of healing this relationship.
  2. Grace offered. The Good News is God extends his grace and reaches out to us to heal the relationship. Long before we turn to God, God, out of his great love for the world, sent his son Jesus as the ultimate expression of that love. God offers us the free gift of his grace, wooing us to a life of reconciled relationship and deep connection. All we do is simply accept his gift of grace through faith in Jesus.
  3. Grace accepted. God’s gift of grace completely mends our relationship, and in response to this amazing love of God, we seek to live in ways that express our love in return. As recipients of grace and forgiveness, our lives reflect a change of direction, turning away from sin and toward God. God invites us to live in ways that increase connection and fosters closeness.
  4. Party. Connecting well with our Creator leads to life, life abundantly. Deep connection with God produces the fruit of his Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Connecting well with our Creator thus produces in us characteristics that foster deep connections in human relationships.

Mending your relationship with your spouse

The major difference between your relationship with God and your marriage is your relationship with your spouse contains two imperfect people. In human relationships, grace must be extended and accepted in both directions.

Our marriage relationship gets damaged in many ways, we are imperfect and we mess up. It could be through conflict, neglect, selfishness, eating all the chocolate, or simply not getting the toilet seat right. Marriage can sustain relational injuries from serious or petty conflicts.

  1. We mess up. Relationship mistakes will happen in marriage. Conflict gets messy and we damage our connection. When you mess up admit to your spouse how you were responsible for damaging the relationship. The critical aspect of apology is acknowledging the damage caused to your connection.
  2. Grace offered. When your spouse messes up extend grace. Communicate this grace gently in a way they can experience.
  3. Grace accepted. Recognize when grace is extended to you and accept the gift. Don’t remain in the pit of self imposed despair. In response to receiving grace, commit to reduce future damage and protect connection through a healthy pattern of interaction. Taking responsibility to change how you interact resulting in fewer mess ups will rebuild trust.
  4. Party. The best part of mending your relationship with your spouse is the celebration. Enjoy wonderful intimacy in your marriage. Celebrate your great connection. It can feel like bragging or showing off to celebrate a great marriage when so many are suffering, but go ahead and show others the wonderful benefits of committed connection. Your celebration can change the impression that struggle and divorce are a more common experience in marriage than happiness.

The older son in Jesus’ story grumbled about the extravagant grace the father extended to his younger brother. If you choose to ignore God’s offer of grace you will risk missing the party. If you choose to remain critical and hurtful to your spouse you will miss the party.

Will you accept the grace offered you? Get ready to party.

Photo credit: / 123RF Stock Photo

5 Refreshing Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Marriage

spring cleaning

Winter has left my lawn scraggly and brown; its cold winds piled leaves on the front step. The only green is the one struggling daffodil yet to bloom and the small weeds coming up around it. Spring is here and it’s time for a good spring cleaning.

I actually enjoy working in my yard in the springtime. I like seeing the grass turn green and the the small buds on the trees transform into leaves. Small weeds poke up but they are easily plucked out in the moist spring mornings. The smell of the first lawn mowing reminds me of warm summer fun.

Marriage has seasons too. Marriages can go through winters where connection is cold and stormy disagreements prevail.

Spring is the breeze of hope that nudges away the chill and grime of winter. Springtime can bring dramatic transformation to your marriage.

You can experience new growth and excitement in your marriage this spring.

Time for your spring cleaning.

Tend to your marriage; let some sun in and water it.

  1. Clear out the garbage from winter. Apologize for your role in the disconnection and conflict in your marriage. Acknowledging the dirt including your mistakes and neglect must come before forgiveness. Then when you commit to forgive you can begin to reestablish trust and intimate connection.
  2. Dust off your poor selfish attitude. Find ways to serve your spouse. Give them a break from the responsibilities of their day. Intentionally surprise them with a small gift or do something they enjoy, even if it’s not your favorite.
  3. Get out in the sunshine again. Have fun together. Smile. Move. Take a walk. Seek adventure again. Laugh together. Get her some flowers. It won’t take long before you start to notice the warmth of connection return.
  4. Listen for the sweet sounds of spring. Tell your spouse what you love about them every day. Start an affirmation habit. Nothing will revive a cold marriage as fast as sincere words of affirmation.
  5. Take in the fresh air. Stop avoiding and really ask how your spouse feels. Transform stale talking into meaningful conversation. Dream together. It may feel risky to deepen your communication but when you do your marriage will burst with new life.

What is your favorite part of Spring?