I started this blog because I want to lead a conversation about love that can help you clarify what it takes to make your marriage the absolute best that it can be.
As a marriage counselor for the last ten years, I have studied closely what it takes to resuscitate the damaged heart of marriages on the brink of divorce. What I have learned is that now, more than ever before, there are higher hurdles that couples must clear to avoid the fate of nearly half of all marriages that end in divorce and the many more "married miserable."
Marriages today face enormous pressure from the strains of our modern lifestyle. Men and women are juggling multiple roles, and and the need to make ends meet in a rapidly shifting modern economy squeezes out less and less time for the relationship and for the family. Under so much strain, many relationships literally fall apart at the seams. The plain reality that I see is that there are more and more seams, more opportunities for couples and people in general, to fragment and lose touch with ourselves and what we hold to be sacred.
In our fragmented worlds we seem to accumulate so many "must haves," that it is far too easy to mistake the mirage of happiness we are chasing for real satisfaction. Instead of contentment we develop the tell-tale unhealthy sign of an addict: More is never enough and good is unacceptable. Instead of having a dynamic and satisfying marriage with many natural highs and lows, so many end up with the hollowed-out version that is plagued by artificial flatness. The only variety in many marriages today is the staccato flickering between one form or another of anxiety, depression, or addiction.
Despite all of this, I have learned one thing:
No matter how hopeless or stuck your marriage seems,
No matter how dark your path is right now,
No matter how much hurt you feel,
Love is never far away.
Love often seems to take us on a winding path. Sometimes we really feel it in our marriage and other times it is gone with the wind. But what if love never really leaves us at all? What if it is us that takes the winding path, trudging our muddy way through the thorn bushes and gutters, through the burdens inside our own minds? And what if love is always available, always right in front of us, just a heartbeat (or a prayer) away?
1) A community of people who think that there is always a way to clean up even the most catastrophic messes in your marriage or family
2) Practical and compassionate explanations of how the mind behaves selfishly, out of fear, to protect you inside your marriage
3) How to not let fear and the natural self-defense system in your head override your true capacity to love in your heart
4) Gritty, real wisdom from actual experience about the honest limits of wounded hearts, despite its often under-rated power to heal
5) Inspiration and faith to do courageous, gutsy, and bold things for your marriage and for yourself that will grow your heart and level your head
Why I started this blog:
1) Marriage counseling is not for everyone. Marriage counseling can be very expensive for one thing. The other is that for most people who do counseling it is only a tiny window into an otherwise very large life experience. We are influenced and shaped by so many factors. Psychotherapy is not the end-all-to-be-all for healing. There are many paths to significant, life-altering change and personal or spiritual growth. I believe this blog will multiply your gains if you are fortunate enough to have access to quality psychotherapy. And if you don't have a connection to counseling I think you will still gain much here as well.
2) Real love is precious. It deserves more value than our ingrained self-serving habits, our diluted culture of consumerism, and our fear of scarcity allows us in ordinary life circumstances.
Sometimes we have to lose, or almost lose, what is most dear to us before we can see the value of all the love that has been staring us right in the face all the time. If we get within a hair's breadth of losing something of true value to us and then, it seems, we wake up and realize there is more to life than the status quo or the next big thing.
It takes tons of courage and grit to face our fears without our usual fallback defenses of greed, lust, depression and anxiety, and yet I watch people do this every week right before my eyes. In my career as a marriage counselor I have a front row seat during those sacred, stellar-nursery-like moments when the damaged heart of a person or a marriage spontaneously grows or regenerates. My hope is that this blog will help you create those kind of moments in your life where it is most needed and be a companion with you on your winding path with love.
3) Sometimes all we need is a mirror. My aim is to provide you with answers to the practical "how/what/why" questions about successful love relationships. But I also know I am not deluding myself into the belief that I have all the answers and that, somehow, I could actually solve all of your marriage problems in a blog (I'm serious...see the blog disclaimer). There is much to know about love and marriage and I am still learning. At the end of the day, I will consider this blog a success if it can be mirror for us, to help reflect back clearly to each other the most sacred things about you and me, our deepest values. If we can do this, if we keep the conversation moving forward about love that's good, this blog will help people in ways I probably can't imagine.
Not the time to be shy...please join us with your voice!
If you are here to just read and take everything in, you are more than welcome to do just that. But I will be honest with you. I am not writing this blog as a public journal of my own inner ramblings. Please jump in and take the step to join the conversation. It challenges my own courage and faith in myself to write this, so I only ask that you would find your own courage to speak about what you know by commenting on the blog and sharing the blog with others. I will do much better knowing you are really out there listening. There are so many directions this blog can take and knowing what you need the most will help me lead the conversation where it needs to go.
Commenting on a blog post might be new for a lot of people. To this end I want to assure you that I will maintain a safe atmosphere here that is welcoming, curious, and affirmative, even as it may challenge you. This means I won't allow certain kinds of posting but will encourage healthy ways to speak about differences. It only stands to reason that if we need help doing this in our marriage, we might as well start learning here.
For everyone's safety and fun, here are the terms I ask you to agree to in order to help make the Love Good Blog an awesome place.