What if Marriage Were Simpler?

Marriage starts off so simple. There’s you, your spouse, a place to live, a job to go to, and free time together. But as time goes on, marriage gets more complicated.  Kids come along. Bills increase. Your job gets more demanding. Your kids get more demanding. The house gets bigger. There’s more upkeep. Your mortgage increases. There are more health issues, higher taxes, and less time.

But what if marriage were simpler? I know…it sounds unrealistic, but stick with me for a minute. I didn’t say, “What if marriage were simple.” I said, “What if marriage were simpler. What if it were possible to declutter and simplify your marriage, even a little? Wouldn’t you want to?

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The Crowded Marriage.

Let’s start by stating the obvious…it’s been a little over 8 months since I have posted to Normal Marriage. I realized this when, on a trip back home, I ran into a niece who asked me if I had kicked her off my Normal Marriage mailing list, because she hadn’t gotten a new post in “forever.”

I could give you a lot of detailed reasons for why it’s been so long, but the long and the short of it is life crept in and crowded Normal Marriage out.

Ever had that happen? Ever had the demands of life crowd out your marriage? The demands of life come in all shapes and sizes…

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How Teenagers Bring Out the Worst in Their Parents

I typically write posts focused on marriage, but this post is going to veer more into the area of parenting. Specifically, parenting teenagers, and more specifically, how teenagers bring out the worst in their parents.

As a former youth pastor, I have a special place in my heart for parents of teens. And, as the father of two grown children, I still have the twitches that can only come from teens or Turretts.

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Getting Over the Wall of Resentment

Resentment can be like a wall that separates spouses, and the longer the wall stays up, the harder it is to get over it. Walls of resentment can become so high and thick that spouses lose hope of ever getting over it.

But there are some things you can do if you have a wall of resentment in your marriage.

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When You’re Not Getting What You Want in Marriage

As a pastoral counselor, I’m expected to draw on Scripture and good clinical practices in order to help couples improve their marriage. But the truth is, you can find great nuggets of marital wisdom in a variety of places. The other day, I found one of those nuggets of marital wisdom on my iTunes playlist.

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Have You Overlooked Something?


In many areas of life, it’s not good to overlook things. If you overlook the traffic light turning red, you could have a serious accident. If you overlook a sponge when sowing up your patient, you could be looking at a serious lawsuit. And if you overlook the door signs when going to a public restroom, you could be facing some serious embarrassment. (Yes, I’ve done that, and I would rather not talk about it.)

But when it comes to marriage, it can actually be helpful to overlook some things.

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Marriage Is Like A Dented Fender

A few weeks ago, I had a fender bender coming home from work. It was a very minor fender bender. No one was hurt. There was only a small amount of damage to my car and no damage to the other car. We didn’t even have to call the police.

I was glad that the damage was so minor, but my car had been in pristine condition up until this point. Now there was this dent in the front of my car for everyone to see.

I became a little OCD about it. Every time I walked to my car, I would stop and look at the dent. When I went into the garage to get something, I would look at it. I was beginning to fixate on the dent.

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Dissatisfaction in Marriage

DissatisfactionTo be married is to know dissatisfaction. That statement will probably get me in trouble, but it’s true. You can’t live with someone who is different than you and not experience some dissatisfaction. Your spouse won’t make the same decisions you would make. They will correct you at times. Their priorities will be different than yours. You won’t like all their habits and quirks. No matter how great your spouse might be, being married to them will bring a certain amount of dissatisfaction.

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Stepping in Cat Puke

Gray cat spitting at the grassEver have one of those days? The other day, I had gone out for a walk. It was a great walk. The morning was beautiful, my heart was peaceful, and I was able to prepare my mind for the day ahead.

When I got back home, I took off my shoes and socks and headed for the shower. Then it happened…

I stepped in cat puke. In my bare feet! I was stunned. I remember thinking, “This can’t be what I think it is!” I stood there like a statute with one foot in the air, wondering, “How do I get to the paper towels in the kitchen without tracking this from room to room?” Then I thought, “This isn’t even my cat!” (We were cat sitting at the time.)

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Why Can’t I Get What I Want?

EV001104Why can’t I get what I want?  Maybe you’ve asked that question in marriage.  Maybe it was when your spouse was not helping around the house.  Maybe it was when you wanted to relax and your spouse wanted you to run an errand.  Maybe it was when your spouse wasn’t interested in sex, or was too interested in sex.  Whatever it was, you found yourself asking, “Why can’t I get what I want?”

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