My 13 Year Marriage Advice

anniversary

Today is my anniversary. On August 9, 2002 I said I do to my best friend Jay. It was a beautiful wedding, outdoor, with friends, family, dancing it was great. But I don’t think I realized that day what being married really meant.

That first year of marriage was rough. Dishonoring each other with our words and being disrespectful. Then we started setting up some better behavior standards. Still we could have huge blowouts. Five years after we got married we started getting some Biblical Marriage Training and it made a world of difference.

We got better, but better isn’t enough.

Conflict

This week I got to have a conversation with an Associate Pastor whose main job is counseling pre-marriage couples. He actually gets them fighting and helps them deal with conflict resolution and communication. I thought this was very very interesting. He also discussed the concept of constant evaluation. This conversation was at 3:20pm… little did I know I would be in conflict just less than 5 hours later.

Conflict can start so innocently. In my marriage it usually is from lack of communication, disrespecting, and or carelessness. Although I would like to say we never fight, we never dishonor each other, we never misinterpret what the other is saying, we never hurt each other… that would be a lie. And to be honest the more time we spend with each other the more opportunities we have for these things.

In many cases I am the culprit of the conflict. In this case I was careless with planning and prioritized other things over an important thing my husband wanted to do. I didn’t really LISTEN, I mismanaged things, and then once the opportunity was lost for him, I argued and didn’t listen again to his hurt.

See in conflict and during this time it didn’t matter what or why this thing happened it only mattered that he was trying to communicate to me that he was hurt, disappointed and frustrated. I made it all about me and how I felt once he was upset and really just didn’t listen at a level couples need to listen at.

Are you listening to your spouse? Are you really hearing them? Are you honoring their desires, wants, needs? Are they hearing you?

It may be time you invest in your marriage. Why not take a class together or by yourself? Go talk to a marriage counselor. Or maybe even do a marriage retreat together.

My 13 Year Marriage Advice

One thing I have learned from my years of marriage counseling is that if you listen and honor your spouse consistently they will do the same.

As for our conflict, well after a cooling and thinking period I realized what I did and how it hurt my husband. We talked about it, he shared his hurt and the reasons why this was important to him. I listened and sincerely apologized that my behavior led to his loss of opportunity. He forgave me and to show he forgave me, he handed over the one “good pillow” we both love to sleep on. Love is selfless. LOL!

“Marriage isn’t easy, but it is worth it.”

 

God Bless your Marriage,

Mary Starr Carter

the Total Wellness Doc and Mom

 

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

My Advice to Those in Marriage or Thinking About Marriage

Yesterday I congratulated a friend on her upcoming marriage. She told me, “The wedding is off.” I was shocked but then she said, “I have to stick to my word. I told him a while back that the drinking had to stop. He stopped and then we got engaged. He started again and I couldn’t make a life commitment to that. I still love him, he’s my best friend but I can’t marry that.”

I thought to myself WOW what an incredibly amazing and strong woman. At the age of 30 she had made positive pro-active decisions that could result in avoiding a lot of heartache and hurt down the road or even divorce.

Christie, one of our employees is a young 30 something year old who has never been married. She desires a Godly man who accepts her fully including her healthy lifestyle. Since she works with our family very closely everyday she sees a lot of what marriage is like. I have encouraged and coached her on some particulars about marriage and about getting ready for a husband.

Here are a couple of those tips:

A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…

I know it sounds cliché and old fashioned but I really think there is some truth to this. Christie has seen first hand what HANGRY (hunger making a person irritable) does in our house.

Having a regular eating schedule, planned meals, and healthy snacks available in the house are important. She sees that these things take time and planning but if we don’t do them then things don’t run as smoothly.

DECLARE WAR ON DEBT

They say weekly fights about money increase our risk of divorce. I walked into my marriage in 2002 with almost $200,000 in debt and then acquired another $100,000 in our first 5 years of marriage. Can you imagine 46% of your income going to debt?   That would mean half the week you work to pay off debt and the other half you are working to pay your basic necessitates like rent, electricity, phones and food. I think and know that could cause STRIFE in a marriage.

Imagine how much less stress a young couple will have with no EXTRA Debt payments monthly. It could be the difference in a spouse being able to stay home with the kids if they choose to and having to work full time.

MARRIAGE IS HARD

So my final advice to those in marriage or thinking about marriage is this:

Marriage is hard. For most of us there will be a time or times when you want to leave or give up. But don’t… learn to really listen. Learn to love yourself, learn to communicate honor and respect your spouse. And most of all pray for your spouse, pray for your marriage everyday. Prioritize your relationship with God first, spouse second, kids third, work and other stuff after that. Do those things and watch your marriage blossom.

 

 

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Say No to Divorce

Say No to Divorce

I was so happy to hear my friend announce at lunch that she had made the commitment to work on her marriage. Married for more then 20 years with 2 kids out of the house, she and her husband had some rough years recently. Financial stresses, alcohol, health and differences in lifestyles were pulling them apart.

One person was getting healthier and healthier and the other no so much. One person had energy and vitality and the other not so much. Do you ever feel like this, that your spouse isn’t at the same place as you are in life? That they aren’t interested in the same things you are? It becomes easier to pull apart and become more like roommates than a married couple.

The thing is marriage is a covenant. That means we made a solemn promise under God to be One, for better and worse, in sickness and in health, in richer and in poorer…

Ever wonder why those words are in most marriage vows? They are real. All marriages will deal with better times and worse times, sickness and health, richer and poorer. Now granted all of the choices we make definitely contribute to the state of our marriage. Making good choices by both parties is a key to having a marriage full of love. Make bad choices or become complacent in working on your marriage and you will have a marriage full of frustration, anger, and fighting.

I may have only 13 years of marriage under my belt but I understand the good and the bad of marriage. I have been in marriage coaching for 6 years and understand the consistent work it takes to have a good marriage. My husband and I don’t have an outstanding marriage yet but we have a good marriage. So I am going to share my tips on having a good marriage and avoiding divorce.

IT STARTS WITH YOU
1. Be the best you
If you really want to work on your marriage it starts with working on you.  We must be the best ME we can be to have the best marriage we want.

This includes taking care of your health. Recently both my husband and I had some blood tests done from www.zrtlabs.com. We found out that both of us are hormonally challenged right now. This helped us tweak our food, exercise, supplements and essential oils health program to support ourselves. Things like low libido, lack of energy and motivation may be a hidden hormonal challenge. So why not get things checked out.

HONOR YOUR SPOUSE

2. Learn your spouse’s love language
If you want to really love your spouse like they need to be loved, learn their love language and stop giving love only like how you like to receive it.

the 5 love languages

The 5 Love Languages book by Gary D Chapman

Photo credit

3. Learn about your spouse’s personality
SOOOOOOO VERY IMPORTANT… if you want to be together for 50 plus years you must learn to communicate and understand your spouse’s personality.

GEMS® Mastery

Make Having a Successful Marriage a Priority

4. Make your marriage a priority
Most marriages fall apart because we have made other things a priority over the marriage. If each of you makes God your number 1 priority followed by your marriage, you will have much less risk of divorce after the kids are out of the house.

People who make their children the highest priority and their marriage a least priority find they don’t even know each other once the kids are gone or worse end up divorced.

5. Date night
The best examples of happy marriages I have in my life all have this in common: DATE NIGHT. My grandparents and my aunt and uncle are 2 examples where they each forced themselves to go on a date once a week. Even with small little kids at home, exhausted from work, no desire to go out, no money, they still made it a rule to get out and once they did they had a blast.

My grandma told me they would sometimes have to find change in the couches to get enough money to go to the movies or have one cocktail out.  My aunt and uncle had a life where he worked out of town for 3-4 days a week so their Thursday night dates were really important to reconnect and share. My grandparents have been married 60 years and my aunt and uncle 30 years. I don’t know but I think they are doing something right.

FORGIVENESS

6. Forgiveness
Forgiveness is an essential piece of a happy marriage. Learn how to forgive and do it regularly. For the little things that build up like forgetting to take out the trash to forgetting to get you a card for Mother’s Day to worse things.  And yes worse things will happen. In those cases you will need to ask God to help you forgive, to heal your heart, and to heal your marriage.

Is having a good marriage easy? No, but is it worth it? YES!

So get out there, learn, and invest time and effort into your marriage.

YOU CAN DO THIS! I am praying for your marriage success!

 

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Marriage Exercise: 101 Things That I Love About My Spouse

marriage exercise

Let’s face it- marriage is not easy. A joy-filled loving marriage is even harder to develop. Many couples are more like roommates than happily, passionately in love with their spouse. How does this happen?

I recently heard a friend say when I commented about the lack of time he and his wife have together, “Well when you have been married as long as we have it just works.” I felt sad about that comment.  I felt sad because I know it doesn’t have to be that way.

I know because I have examples in my life of couples married over 40 or even 50 years who still love each other deeply and want to spend quality time with each other.

So how do we stay or grow to fall in love with our spouse even deeper? I came up with this Marriage Exercise while on my own weekly date night the other night. I think it can help you fall more passionately in love with your spouse too.

Our tendency as humans is to focus on the faults, annoying things, frustrations, angers, and past hurts of our spouse. And the fact is daily our spouse could be hurtful, annoying, frustrating, or make us angry. So how do we change our focus and mindset? I think I found an answer.

This is an exercise I did the other day just for fun on one of our date nights. We had an hour drive and I thought I am going to tell my husband 101 ways why I love him.

Quite honestly at first I thought it was going to be difficult and that I maybe could get to 20. But then something happened once I focused on all the things I love about him. I started being reminded of more things that he has done or traits he has that I love. It was really fun. I was speaking LIFE into my husband.

And then as I got towards the end I started telling him things that I love about him that has not happened yet. It was like speaking a prophetic Word into his life. And the results surprised me.

When we got home that night he was so loving and caring for me (and not just because it was date night). See when you have little kids, a business to run, and health challenges you know that by the end of the day you are exhausted and sometimes impatient and probably not so loving feeling. But it was like the Words I spoke over my husband gave him energy, love, and the ability to feed me “caring and love”.

It was awesome… and when he did something later that was a little frustrating instead of getting frustrated and upset I focused on why I love him and told him some. It diffused the bad emotions and brought in the good.

So I don’t know if this exercise will work for you but why not try it.

1. Get your journal and start with 10 reasons you love your spouse.

2. When you get to 10 keep going and see how far you can get… here are a few ideas:

Think about his/her talents, qualities, physical features you love, things they have done you have been proud of or things they have done for the family or you. Their way with your children.

3. Now think about their dreams and goals and write down reasons you love them as if they have achieved those dreams and goals. Make sure they are their dreams or at least your mutual dreams together. For example:

I love you because you worked so hard to get healthy and you did it.

I love you because you have helped our family get out of debt.

I love you because you have created a legacy for our children.

4. Now go test a few of these things out with your spouse. Make sure they are in a space for listening and receiving your words. Sometimes you might have to write them a letter or card.

Let me know how it goes. It may sound silly to you because you just aren’t in that happy place with your marriage or maybe like my friend you have been married a long time, but WHY NOT just try it. What do you have to lose? And keep trying it.

Give your spouse Words of Love and Encouragement for the next 10 days and see what happens. And if you are still struggling, try Shutran essential oil blend. It is beautiful romantic cologne or perfume that can be worn daily, diffused or just saved for special nights that can help you both feel more loving. We love SHUTRAN.

I will pray for your success and awesome changes in your marriage. For more tips about Having a Happy Marriage, visit my friends who have been married a LONG time and coach thousands of people on how to have a QUALITY marriage, Drs. Jack and Lavonne Atnip on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheEncouragementCenter.

 

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

Vital Signs of a Healthy Marriage and Business

I am writing this blog post not as an expert today, but as one who has taken the journey of marriage for ten years and lives to tell about the struggles and successes of my marriage and business. If you are struggling or successful in both your marriage and business, read on. You may find some golden nuggets along the way to have an even better marriage and business.

Jay and I have been married for 10 years and we got to celebrate with a little getaway to Niagara Falls this past weekend.  Our marriage like many has not been easy but with the help of business, personal development and relationship mentors, we like each other more and more and fall deeper in love each day.

As one who has been trained in the medical field, vital signs are important in looking at a patient’s health chart.  Assessing body temperature, acidity, heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol level can tell a lot about a person’s health.

Likewise, our marriage and business have vital signs that show its state of health. Is it thriving or dying?

Dr. Lavonne Atnip is a psychologist, marriage counselor and Biblical Mentor to me. She and her husband Dr. Jack have helped thousands of people in the last 38 years in pre-marital counseling, marital improvement, divorce recovery, spiritual warfare and Bible Studies. I have benefited immensely from her mentorship. You can find out more about one of my calls with her at the Break Free Teleclass with Dr. Lavonne.

What I’ve learned, I’m going to share with you through the simple fruits of the spirit strategy. The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. While the opposite of these are sexual immorality, impurity and hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, gluttony ad the like.

Marriage and business are almost the same when you think about ways to make them work. We need consistency, persistency, commitment, respect, dedication, time, nurturing and knowing when to set aside time to getaway from it all just to relax and spend time not working but relaxing. The fruit of the spirit applies to both entities as well.

Here is a closer look at 5 vital signs (I am writing from a perspective of a wife):

Self Control
Proverbs said, better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Reference to a nagging wife comes out quite often in the book of Proverbs. Again in another verse it says, better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Seems weird that I would put self-control in under nagging. But I learned this the hard way. (and still am learning this) If you find yourself nagging away at home, that could be a warning sign.

What is it that is bothering you? Is it stress, dissatisfaction, hurt, lack of self-love, judgment or unforgiveness?

Some of us wives do have the tendency to mention a certain subject over and over again without much self-control. Self-control is one of the fruits of the spirit.

Selfish Ambition
One profound quote written by Albert Einstein about man and woman:

“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”

Are you trying to change your spouse?  Could it be insecurity, immaturity or self-hate that is making us look at them instead of ourselves? “If only you will do this!” Or “if only he would spend more time with me”!  What would happen if we practice kindness, gentleness and acceptance?  Maybe they would want to spend more time with us.

Let’s take a moment to think about this statement by Einstein.

Responsibility
Do we justify, rationalize or deny just getting away from facing the truth? Sometimes blaming and always trying to find a scapegoat may cause tension in a marriage. Facing the truth about our fears, insecurity and lack of acceptance may trigger conflict.

I remember the last tense moment we had.  I said to my husband, “you seem really irritable and short tempered today what’s going on with you?” He laughed and said “ME short tempered?” Then I thought about how short tempered I had been with him the entire morning.

Taking full responsibility of our own actions demand facing the truth and forgiving. LOTS OF IT! Anger may arise due to dissatisfaction or thinking more of our own needs than our spouse. Anger will fuel tension and insecurity and before we know it, we will become highly skilled in hiding our fears and insecurity and taking responsibility of our actions will be the last thing in our minds.

Can you imagine thinking “whatever it takes, I’m going to take full responsibility of my actions and make this thing work!”

Too many people just give up on their marriage or let it go dead.  You know, the type of couples who are more like roommates then husband and wife. The passion and love is gone and the words they use with each other are less than flattering.

Do we dare to be vulnerable and admit our weakness or fears? Only when we take full responsibility of playing our part could we be free to be ourselves and accept our spouse as there are. This requires personal development and increasing our sense of personal love and security. (I am still working on this one.)

Time and Change
It takes time for a plant to bear its fruit and there are seasons involved in planting and harvesting. Marriage goes through seasons too. Season of conceiving babies, raising babies and many more. But whatever season a plant may be in, it never changes the type of fruits it will bear. We can’t make excuses that we are raising kids, or building a business, or have a lot of stress and put our marriage on the back burner.  Make time for each other. Make time to get away.

Two of the best marriages I know include my grandparents and my aunt and uncle.  What has been foundational for both of these couples in every season of life?  A weekly date night and time away with each other.  No matter how exhausted they were, they made time for their marriage.

Our Core
The core of our being and character does not change through time. What might have attracted us to our spouse in the first place is still there. If we take time to evaluate that character that we first fell in love with, we may find appreciation and gratitude in our spouse.

For some it may be their confidence, patience, and commitment, beliefs or interests.  Or he thinks you are beautiful no matter what you look like.  Hold on to something and appreciate that one thing.

There is no perfect marriage or business. Both take commitment, work and belief. Focus on the Family said

Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges, bringing up the past and remembering that they married an imperfect person – and so did their spouse.

Do you have any special secrets to share about your marriage success or business strategies? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.

 

Happy Marriage and Total Wellness Through Relationship Counseling


I look around the room of this small church and thought to myself: Wow, there are a lot of happy couples here.  I was at a wedding of a good friend and I couldn’t help but laugh at all the couples in the room, who if you didn’t know any better you would think all of them just got married.  Laughter, happiness, kisses; looks of endearment, joy, and passion were present throughout that room.

Why were all these couples so happy? Let me share their secret.

75% of the couples in the room have invested into programs and or counseling that helped them learn to communicate with each other better, love each other deeper, get over some past hurts, deal with current stressors in their relationships, and learn to be a better spouse.

This may sound kind of strange to you or maybe you have had marriage counseling in the past.  I am pretty open that I have a session with my marriage counselor every month not because I am struggling in marriage but because I want to keep my marriage happy and improve my skills.  It is a significant investment of money and my time but IT IS WORTH IT!

So the morning after the wedding I had breakfast with a group of couples from the wedding.  I had to laugh because; all of us have been counseled by the same counselors, Dr. Lavonne and Jack Atnip.  Here are some of their stories:



This year think about making a New Year’s Resolution to improve your marriage. You might end up happier than you ever thought you could be. Please leave your comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Dr. Mary Starr Carter is known as the Total Wellness Doc. She has been training individuals about Natural Health Solutions for over 13 years. She is trained as a Chiropractor and has studied under the world’s foremost leaders in natural medicine. She is a mother and a wife and has created a balanced and total wellness life for herself and thousands of her clients using her simple wholistic approach to health and wellness. Her coaching, classes and ebooks help clients with Fibromyalgia, Hormone and Adrenal issues, Asthma, Diabetes, Weight problems, Thyroid and Chronic pain find resources and solutions to better health.

We publish newsletters and blogposts twice a week for our readers for general education purposes only. We cover topics that are related to achieving and maintaining total wellness which includes our emotional, physical, spiritual and financial health.