5 Ways You (wife) may be destroying your marriage

5 ways article

Article by: Katelyn Carmen (www.familyshare.com)

When I got married, I was amazed at the instant, overwhelming sense of responsibility I felt to love and care for my husband. Suddenly, a huge part of someone else’s well-being and happiness was largely affected by my choices and actions.

Women, we need to be careful about how we are caring for our husbands and marriages. Don’t let the small stuff ruin the things that will bring you the greatest happiness in life.

Here are just a few ways you might be unknowingly destroying your husband and killing your marriage (as a caveat, please understand that although this article is directed toward women, it applies to men as well):

  • 1. Living outside of what you can afford

    A wise old woman from my church congregation once advised: “The best thing you can do as a wife is to live within your husband’s means.”  Click HERE to read the full article

4 Things Many Couples Should Do But Often Don’t


Pray together. Forgive. Go on date nights. Have sex. A lot of sex. Say I love you. Laugh together. Encourage one another. Whew! After a while marriage can begin to feel like one big “to-do” list! If you are like me, sometimes it all gets a bit overwhelming. But the truth is it doesn’t have to be! Below are 4 things every couple should be doing that you might not be doing…and honestly these are pretty easy to implement.  Sure…so many things are important but go ahead and start here and watch the impact these tips have on your marriage.

In addition to praying for your spouse here are 4 more things you should do:

  1. Vision Cast

Sure you and your friends may be planning to get together for your annual vision board party, but what about you and your spouse? For some reason many couples forget the importance of taking time out of your life to intentionally and strategically plan for your future.  Why is this so important? The reality is if we are not careful, we can find ourselves headed in the opposite direction than our spouse and a few years down the road we wonder what happened or where we got off track.  Vision casting together (at least once a year, if not more) will make sure you are on one accord.  Need help creating a vision plan? Click here and get a Family planning template emailed to you!


2. Be open to feedback

I know. You have it all together and you never frustrate or irritate your spouse. Okay. Now the truth! After navigating “life” together we can easily begin to do things or say things that create tension in our relationship.  Many times in order to ‘keep the peace’ your spouse may not share with you the things that are frustrating to him/her.  In order to ensure that you both are aware of any concerns or challenges, open the door for feedback. It’s so easy to assume all is well because the “ship” is still afloat. But remember it took 3 years to build the titanic but it sank in just 3 hours.  We don’t want something to cause our relationship to sink so ask your spouse to share how you can be a better spouse and love them the way they need to be loved.


  1. Take a break…alone

Of course couples should want to spend time together and should enjoy one another’s company.  But as romantic as we might think it is, relationships become enmeshed when we feel that we must be with our spouse for every free moment. Jesus Himself had to break away from those closes to Him in order to have a little time alone.  This doesn’t mean that you need to take an extended vacation without your spouse, but having some “me-time” will make your time together that much better.


  1.  Start & complete a project together

Studies show that couples who accomplish things together have a greater bond than those that don’t.  You and your spouse should find a hobby, start a project at home or even commit to volunteering together.  Doing so will allow you to share your strengths, support one another’s weaknesses and celebrate once you’ve met your goal!


Implementing these 4 tips will allow you to invest in your marriage in a powerful way! What other tips do you have for couples? Visit our Facebook Page and let us know your thoughts!



I Can Sum Up Marriage In These 11 Texts I’ve Sent My Husband

text messages

Our text messages say a lot about our marriage.

While scrolling through my phone and reading the text exchange between my husband and I, I see a love story.

No, I don’t see a bunch of X’s, O’s and lovey dovey emoticons. But I do see mistakes, arguments, parenting advice and venting sessions. I see two people navigating this life together. I see a parenting partner. I see a best friend. I see a union that thrives on a healthy dose of sarcasm.

When I read our text messages, I see a real marriage.

And I laugh.
1. This may be the most truthful text message I’ve ever sent my husband, but honesty is key in a successful relationship. CLICK HERE to read the full article

21 Uncommon Ways To Romance Your Woman

Romance picture

1. Play with her hair while the two of you are watching TV. It doesn’t have to be complex, just a little light head touching/hair-messing-with will put her into a near-meditative state.

3. Instead of just asking her where she wants to go for dinner — because you know that she loves when you put in the effort to choose, but is really picky when it comes to what she wants — give her three options that you want to go to (including one or two you haven’t tried before, if possible). It’s the best of both worlds.

4. If you spend the night at her place (or even if you share the place) make the bed while she’s in the shower or getting ready.

5. When she’s on her way home from a big day at work, text her to be like “I’m ordering takeout from [insert her favorite place here] and opening a bottle of wine. What would you like?”

To Read the rest of this article by Chelsea Fagan, Click HERE!

12 Ways to Make Marriage Fun Again

smiling hearts

(Article by Ron Edmondson via www.ronedmondson.com)

Here are a 12 ways to make marriage fun again:

Prioritize your marriage – If you want to have fun in your marriage, you have to make your marriage a priority in your life; above your hobbies, work and even your children. All of us would say that our marriage is a priority, but do we practice what we say we believe? Our marriage should take precedence over every other human relationship and every other activity. My wife knows when I am putting her first and when something else has my greatest attention.

Schedule time for fun – We should schedule time to simply enjoy life with our spouse. Everyone I know is busy, but we should make sure our schedule never gets so crowded that we cannot enjoy time with the love of our life. As a pastor, I am never really off work, but I try to be home when I am home. Still, I will often hear my wife, and my boys when they were home, ask me something like, “Are you really listening to me or are you thinking about your next appointment?” We must set boundaries between our home and our work or other activities. Add to your calendar opportunities to have fun together. When is the last time you and your wife went on a date? You can be wise with your expenses and still plan for date nights.

(Click HERE to read the full article)

Wife to Be

CHAT logo2

Ager and Valerie Cheely have been married for 12 years and can attest to God’s faithfulness and favor in their relationship.  The couple established CHAT (Couples Hearing About the Truth) in 2011.  The heart of CHAT is to coach couples towards restoration, healthy communication and an engaging relationship with one another. Learn more by visiting www.coaching4couples.org.


The day that every girl dreams of is the day that she becomes the “Bride to be”!

All thoughts are set on the wedding day as soon as she gets the ring.  Wedding planners, bridal bouquets and boutiques, bridesmaids, groomsmen, the cake; and plans go on for week and weeks; invited guest galore; all getting ready for the day that the “Bride to be” walks through the church doors.

The day arrives after months of preparation and planning to have the best two hours that any girl can imagine.  The day is everything you hoped for, everything you dreamed; but what does saying these vows and exchanging the rings really mean?

So much time has been spent on the wedding day, but has there been any thought about the days after when all the guest go away?  So focused on this one day, but have you thought about the rest of your life? Your status will change; people will call you by a new last name.

You are no longer a “bride”, you’re now a wife!

When your husband needs encouragement after a long hard day, what kind of wife do you want to be, will you know what to say?  It’s no longer just about you; it’s communicating, compromising, and commitment; you to your husband and your husband to you!  It’s a call to submission to the one that God ordained to lead, love, and protect you.  The excitement that you had  from the start, it’s no longer just to get through one day, it’s now a life long journey, ’til death do you part!

So if you are planning to get married, don’t focus so much on the wedding day, because that day quickly goes away.  Don’t spend so much time just preparing for the one day; pray and ask God to show you the way each and every day.

You want to be more than just a bride because the “wife to be” is who your husband will want by his side; not just for a day, but for a lifetime!


Can you survive the red wagon

Red wagon

Recently I was talking to my mom…well, more like complaining to her about my car woes.  As I shared with her that we’d put my car in the shop for the third time in less than a month, my mother said “oooh! I know how you feel! I remember when we didn’t have a car and when I did the laundry I had to pull the clothes to the laundry mat in a red wagon”.

Wait. Stop! What? Did she just say a red wagon?

My mother could tell I was shocked and so she said, “Honey yes! A red wagon! We didn’t have a car nor did we have a washer and dryer. So when I had to do laundry, I would put the clothes in a red wagon and pull it to the laundry mat”.

Can I tell you the image of a grown woman (with one child at the time) pulling her clothes to the laundry mat in a red wagon was….ummm….interesting to me. We aren’t talking about a city like New York where people walk most places anyway. We are talking about in Dallas, Texas where her laundry mat wasn’t necessarily close to where she lived.

As I thought about my mother and the red wagon, I couldn’t help but think about how much she and my father have gone through and endured in their 40+ years of marriage. It reminded me yet again that in this new age of marriage, folks don’t know how to survive the tough times.  Couples who’ve been married 30, 40 and 50 years have learned the values of fortitude, resilience and tenacity that I am afraid we are losing in this day and age.  Somehow we believe that our marriage should resemble the “Cosby Show” without having to put in the work to get there.

For me, my mother sharing with me that she had to pull a “red wagon” to and from the laundry mat, was just one of many many stories she has told me over the years of challenges and obstacles she and my dad have had to overcome.  It’s easy to look at my mother now driving her luxury car and living in a home that is paid for and think “wow, she’s got it made…”.  Looking at her now you’d never think she use to pull a ‘red wagon’.

Most people marry in the hopes to get to 47 years (like my parents) and beyond, but do we really take into consideration all that happens from “I do” at the altar to forever? That journey can be filled with ups, downs, and turnarounds.  If we are going to experience forever, we must learn how to survive the “Red Wagon”.

The “Red Wagon” are those tough spots in the marriage where the picture of where you are doesn’t match where you thought you would be.  The “Red Wagon” are those times when you feel frustrated, disappointed or discouraged.  The “Red Wagon” is the “…for worse”; “…for poorer”; “…in sickness” part of the vows we so solemnly declare on our wedding day!

I know. This isn’t a comfortable read.  I get it….we don’t want to talk about this.  But see, if we don’t talk about the “Red Wagon”, when we face those experiences we don’t have tools to navigate through them.

In my 12 years of marriage, my husband and I have surely experienced our own “red wagon” moments. From failed businesses, to money woes, to health scares, to miscarriage, to feeling disconnected…I could go on and on. And I am sure we aren’t alone.  We all have experienced those moments of pulling the proverbial “red wagon” and wondered what in the world was going on!

Listening to my parents (and other seasoned married couples) over the years, I have learned critical tips for navigating the tough times.  The lessons are invaluable and I try and apply them in my own marriage.  Today, allow me to share 3 of the 6 strategies that stand out the most to me.  Check back next week for the remaining 6:

  1. Forgive and Forget

In any relationship we have the potential to be hurt or disappointed….or to be the one that hurts or disappoints someone else. That is just what happens when humans connect with one another.  In marriage, learning how to forgive and to move on from the hurt will go a long way in maintaining a strong union.  Now, let’s be clear. This concept is often misunderstood and misused. Forgiveness doesn’t give someone the license to continue destructive behaviors.  We shouldn’t abuse the act of forgiveness but accept it as the gift that it is and commit to not repeating the behavior in the future.

  1. Monitor your Mouth

Folks use to say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”….but the couples I know who have survived the tough times tell me that what is SAID can destroy your marriage just as much as what is done.  Be careful what you say and how you speak to one another. In addition to that, intentionally speaking well of your spouse to others goes a long way in the relationship.

  1. Build the Bank

While building your monetary bank is important, I have learned from the wise couples I am connected too that you must also build the emotional, sexual, and spiritual banks as well.  Make sure that you are INVESTING way more than you are WITHDRAWING.  Fill your bank with love, constant laughter, private memories, and prayer.  That way, when you go through tough times, you’ve invested SO much in the bank your marriage won’t go bankrupt.

If my parents were to give me permission to share their marital story you would learn that pulling a red wagon was the least of the struggles they faced.  But, they can actually look back on that time and smile at how far they’ve come.

I believe that employing these 3 tips and also making a decision to “stick & stay” will get us all closer to “forever after”.


Your turn! What are tips, tools or strategies that you believe can help couples through the tough times? “LIKE” our Facebook page and share your comments under this blog!


Effective Communication


Rev. Larraine Forrester is co-founder of A Relationship Ministry (ARM).   Along with her husband Rev. Larraine has for over 12 years counseled couples either helping the engaged to establish a strong foundation for their union or the married to enhance their relationships. Rev. Larraine also works as a Wife Coach and shares wisdom gained during the past 28 plus years of marriage and Seminary.  You can learn more about the Forrester’s by visiting: www.arelationshipministry.webs.com


At the core of every marriage conflict is usually miscommunication.  Clear and accurate communication is seldom achieved when couples disagree.

Each person in a marriage is an individual who has different and unique filters through which they view the world, live life, perceive various situations and define family.  The husband who has been taught that a man shouldn’t be so emotional but instead be “hard” may not easily engage in conversations regarding his feelings for his wife.  On the other hand the wife who has been taught to easily express herself, may not understand why it takes so long for her husband to respond during conversations if at all.

When it comes to communication, couples disagree on how much conversation is necessary and when conversation is necessary.  Couples disagree on how much money should be spent, how to raise children, where to live, who’s responsible for what chores, which friends the mate should associate with, how much privacy is appropriate, and on and on and on.  In marriage disagreements are inevitable and are not necessarily a negative factor.  When couples miscommunicate they fail to look at the big picture but rather get caught up in the details.

To be too much alike can be a detriment to your marriage.  If you both love to spend, you’ll soon be broke.  If you both love to work all the time, you’ll not make time for each other.  If you both are thrifty you may miss out on some fun experiences.  When a husband and wife disagree it’s an opportunity to effectively merge their souls and bring about balance.

Following are three Power Points for Communication:

1.  Write a Marriage Mission Statement (This is the big picture.):

Before you can get to where you’re going you must determine your destination.  Ask yourself, when you decided to say “I do”, what was your intention?  Was it to love each other, to establish a home, to have children, to be in relationship with God, to be prosperous, etc?  Together discuss you plan accomplish these things?  Examples:  Date night once a week, conceive in a year, attend Bible study, save a certain percentage of income.  If the thing you disagree on isn’t in any way connected to your mission statement, perhaps it’s not worth fighting over.

2.  Be flexible in conversation:

Engage in conversations with an open mind; your mate’s opinion or perspective may just be more logical or realistic than yours.

3.  Seek to understand then seek to be understood:

If you understand your mate’s perspective you’ll have a better chance of helping them to understand yours.


Want to improve your intimacy pleasure? Eat more Apples?


New Study Says Eating Apples May Increase Sexual Pleasure In Women

(The Huffington Post – Taryn Hillin)         

It’s been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but new research suggests it can do a lot more than that.

A new study published in Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics suggests that eating more apples leads to better sex for women.

Click HERE to read the entire Huffington Post article.

Building a winning team

In marriage most of us want to be on the same team as our spouse.  As a matter of fact, often we just assume that we will be. But once we move forward in the marriage, we begin to see that it is not as easy as we thought.

So what do you do to position your marriage as a winning team? First, let’s define what a team is for marriage.  In marriage a team consists of 2 people with complementary skills coming together to complete a task.

Did you get that?  That means you and your spouse don’t necessarily need the SAME skills, but your skills should COMPLIMENT one another.  Sounds simple enough but how many times do you get frustrated because your spouse doesn’t SEE things or DO things the way you do?

Remember this! God never intended for YOU to marry YOU….He intended for you to marry someone that allows Him to do what He wants to do through you. That leads us to the other part of that definition: coming together to complete a task.

Some of us need to get an elevated view of our marriage….WE ARE TOGETHER TO COMPLETE A TASK!!! We are to show the beauty of Christ & the Church.  How YOU do that is different from how someone else does it, but it’s important that you get clear on your task!

So let’s look at the components of a team.  We will talk about what are the habits of a losing team, how to build a winning team and lastly how to be the MVP – most valuable player – on your team!

6 Habits of a LOSING Team

  1. Losing teams allow one LOSE to define their entire season. In other words, they develop an expectation of losing.  So in your marriage for example that      means you believe that just because you and your spouse HAVE had hard      times, you will ALWAYS have hard times.   That is a losing mindset.
  2. Losing teams stop practicing or preparing for all the different scenarios they may face.  So you know that every time your mother comes in town you and your spouse have an argument but instead of identifying what the issues are and making a plan to deal with it, you just let it happen.  Losing teams stop prepping for the challenge situations.
  3. Losing teams lose sight of the bigger picture.  This falls in line with getting shook up because of one lose instead of remembering we are still in line for the championship.  In marriage, don’t forget what the bigger picture is in your romance.
  4. Losing teams stop listening  to their coach. I want you to think of all the sports greats! From Serena to Jordan to LeBron to Gabby Douglas, winners listen to what their coach has to say.  In marriage what is your ultimate coach (God!) saying about your marriage? Tune in to your coach for direction!
  5. Losing teams stop communicating. Because of the frustration they are feeling, losing teams stop connecting and communicating. This happens in marriage too. We stop communication  with one another and then wonder why we aren’t winning.  Winner requires open and honest communication and feedback.

So far we’ve talked about what a team is and then habits of a losing team. Now let’s talk about what it will take for your team to win!

How to build a winning team

  1. Make sure you are on a team that is compatible! A winning team knows what skills each of their players have, they don’t fight one another on the differences in their skills and they intentionally pay attention to how each player’s skills      can best serve the team.  Follow this same script in your relationship!
  2. Make sure you Identify what a WIN is! Of course we want to have a victory, but sometimes a “win” is bigger than that.  Maybe this year a ‘win’ for your marriage is to not necessarily become debt free but to at least save a certain amount of money.  But if you aren’t clear on the win, you may feel defeated when you actually should be celebrating.
  3. Make sure you constantly revisit the rules for your team. How do you govern your relationship?  What is okay and what is not okay? You cannot  win if you don’t know the rules!
  4. Make sure you develop a winning strategy! Every team that wins a championship had a strategy that allowed them to win! In your marriage you and your spouse need a strategy that can give you the plays you need to move towards victory! (Remember by signing up for our “I believe in marriage” database, you can get the  template we use for a family strategic plan!)
  5. Make sure you find the right coach. All of us are being coached by someone whether it’s your best  friend, your mother or your pastor.  Make sure you are sensitive to whose in your ‘ear’ because that person can either help your team win or sabotage all of your efforts. As mentioned above, God is our ultimate coach, but you also need another person that can coach you and your spouse.
  6. Make sure you spend time with your teammate.  Winning teams are made up of players who know one another.  Having camaraderie is important for      victory.  You and your spouse need  to spend time together and really learn one another if you are going to      win!

Now that you know what a team is, habits of a losing team and how to build your team to win, it’s time for you to learn how to be the MVP of your team!

4 characteristics of an MVP – most valuable player:

  • The MVP puts the team’s  goals above their own! Sure, you are superstar material.  But if you are going to be the MVP you need  to make sure that you know when to put your team’s needs above your own.   Maybe this is not the time to quit your job to start that new business;   maybe this year instead of your annual girls’ trip, you need to take a family trip.  Putting the teams needs     first will get you closer to MVP status!
  • The MVP is willing to take up the slack when their teammate needs them.  Sometimes your teammate might be in a tough situation or struggling in an area.       Can you help them carry their weight when they are having a hard      time handling it on their own?
  • The MVP is consistent and reliable.  When it is time for your teammate to throw you the ball are you there ready to catch it? The MVP is  not shaky or shady. The MVP is in the right place at the right time.
  • The MVP knows their  position and they play it well. Whether their position is a point guard or a forward, the MVP knows the role they are to be playing. That’s the same in marriage.  Are you clear on your position in the marriage? Do you know the plays and are you playing the well?  The MVP doesn’t try and play      someone else’s position because they are busy mastering the one God gave      them!

Take some time to review this information.  Discuss it with your significant other.  Identify areas that your team needs to work on! I want to hear from you! Follow us on twitter: @IBIM and let us know your thoughts!