How To Solve ANY Problem In Your Marriage

How To Solve ANY Marriage Problem… My #1 Coaching Tool

No matter WHAT is happening in your marriage, whether it’s..

-Infidelity

-I love you but I’m not in love with you

-Poor communication

-Conflicts about sex

-”I’m not sure why I feel the way I feel…” 

This tool will help you know EXACTLY…

1. What is CAUSING the problem in your marriage

2. What you can do to solve it

This is the #1 tool I use with my clients (and on myself).

Summary:

-STFAIR Model

-Situation (facts only)

-Thought (what you tell yourself about what happened)

-Feeling

-Action (what you do)

-Intention (why you do it)

-Result (what happens)

Mike

How to Win Back Your Wife’s Love and Trust – Even After Infidelity

How to Win Back Your Wife’s Trust and Love – Including the #1 Phrase I Tell My Clients To Use

If you have lost your wife’s trust or love…

Either by something BIG (like an affair)…

Or by not doing the “little things” over time…

There is a PROVEN strategy to win back that trust and love.

And, there is ONE phrase that can SPEED UP that process.

Watch this video to see how:

If you have lost your wife’s trust or love…

Either by something BIG (like an affair)…

Or by not doing the “little things” over time…

There is a PROVEN strategy to win back that trust and love.

And, there is ONE phrase that can SPEED UP that process.

Summary:

-Trust and love are LOST by breaking promises, big or small

-Trust cannot be GIVEN

-You have to EARN it by making and keeping small promises over time. Like building a house brick by brick

-You must COMMIT to becoming a man of your word, and acting as the best version of yourself, EVEN and ESPECIALLY when you are not getting what you are hoping for from your wife.

If you enjoy the episode, make sure to leave a review in iTunes and share with a friend, so we can create stronger men and stronger marriages across the world.

And, if you are ready to take your strength training and your marriage to the next level, visit work with me to learn how.

I’ll see you there!

Mike

How To Stop REPELLING Your Wife… The Tale Of The Mosquito And The Dictator

Is your wife EXCITED to see you every day?

Does she tell her friends how great you are?

Does she tell your boys to be just like you, and your daughters to marry someone just like you?

If not, you may be acting like a DICTATOR or MOSQUITO… and not even know it.

See how you might be REPELLING your wife… and how to fix it in this episode.

Summary:

-When you don’t have a strong sense of self-worth, you tend to try to borrow it from your wife

-You can do that by putting her down (dictator), or by constantly trying to get her attention, appreciation and affection (mosquito)

-Often we switch between mosquito (bending over backwards for our wife) to dictator when our mosquito ways aren’t getting enough attention

-The solution is finding love and respect for yourself that is EQUAL to your wife

-Ask just right, listen just right, give just right

If you enjoy the episode, make sure to leave a review in iTunes and share with a friend, so we can create stronger men and stronger marriages across the world.

How Doing “Nice Things” For Your Wife Can Cause Problems

Can you do something nice for your wife… but STILL cause problems in your marriage?

YES!

See how doing the dishes (or other “nice” things) can either HELP or HURT your marriage.

It all depends on how you SEE your wife.

Summary:

-Concepts from the book Leadership and Self-Deception from The Arbinger Institute

-When you see your wife as a PERSON, you see her as HER OWN PERSON and someone you can serve

-When you see her as an OBJECT, you see her as a vehicle, an obstacle, or irrelevant

-You can still do “nice things” (like the dishes)  but to GET something from her. This leads to PROBLEMS in the marriage.

-When you don’t get the attention, appreciation or affection you want, you tend to see her as an OBSTACLE and start getting upset, disengaged, etc.

-The solution: Choose to SERVE because you want to GIVE. Because you want to be that guy. Not because you want to GET or want her to ACT or FEEL a certain way.

-This is also the MOST LIKELY way you will get attention, appreciation and affection FREELY GIVEN.

If you enjoy the episode, make sure to leave a review in iTunes and share with a friend, so we can create stronger men and stronger marriages across the world.

Why you must STOP trying to make your wife happy

Why You Must STOP Trying to Make Your Wife Happy

You’ve heard “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”

Trying to live that phrase sent me to my car SCREAMING.

Learn from this video why you must STOP trying to make your wife happy… 

And what to do instead.

Summary:

-You can’t control other people’s emotions… even their good ones

-When you try, you are doomed to fail… AND you are being “manipulative,” which is unattractive

-The solution is NOT to say “screw you, I’ll do what I want.”

-It’s about sharing your TRUE self, serving because you want to be that guy, and finding solutions that are a win for BOTH of you… not a SACRIFICE that benefits one person and not the other

Stay strong!

Mike

Why Your Wife CAN NOT Make You Happy

If you find yourself saying “if my wife would just…”

  • Appreciate me more
  • Respect me more
  • Have sex with me more, etc.

You are falling victim to the common MYTH that your wife has to act certain ways for you to be happy.

Find out how this belief is driving your wife AWAY and is REMOVING your power and strength… 

and what to do instead so you can feel STRONG and POWERFUL and ATTRACT your wife to you.

If you enjoy the episode, make sure to leave a review in iTunes and share with a friend, so we can create stronger men and stronger marriages across the world.

And, if you are ready to take your strength training and your marriage to the next level, visit StrongMenStrongMarriages.com to learn how.

I’ll see you there!

Mike

How to Succeed in Marriage… No Matter What Your Spouse Does

Many people define success in marriage as loving and being loved, having great communication, or, my favorite, making our spouse happy.

Unfortunately, these definitions often result in RESENTMENT and CONFLICT in marriage.

See how to define success so that you ALWAYS win, no matter what your spouse does.

P.S. This is also the MOST LIKELY way to get the attention, appreciation and affection that you’re wanting from your spouse.

Sue Johnson Hold Me Tight Review

Sue Johnson Hold Me Tight Review

Sue Johnson “Hold Me Tight” is a marriage counseling book by a well-known marriage counselor.. She developed a therapy called he emotionally focused therapy that has been very helpful for many couples.

Here we will review her book “Hold Me Tight,” which explains the core assumptions that she uses in her form of couples therapy.

Sue Johnson Hold Me Tight Core Principles

One of the quotes that I think he explains her philosophy best his this:

Underneath all the distress, partners are asking each other:  Can I count on you?  Are you there for me?  Will you respond to me when I need, when I call? Do I matter to you? Am I valued and accepted by you?

Sue Johnson

Sue Johnson approaches couples therapy from the lens of attachment.

To understand the attachment, imagine a small baby.

A small baby is very dependent on his mother for basically everything.

When a baby gets separated from his mother, he gets very upset. He starts to cry and fuss until his mother comes back.

The baby also has a physiological response to the separation. this response is the fight or flight response that our bodies use when we feel that we are in danger.

Sue Johnson Hold Me Tight – Fight or Flight

Sue Johnson in her book “Hold Me Tight” says that adults react in a similar way when they feel distant from their romantic partner.

People can feel this distance through conflict or just a lack of connection.

Their body goes into a fight or flight mode.

Sue Johnson explains that most people respond to this feeling in one of two main ways: fight or flight.

People who are more prone to a “fight” response will try to solve problems quickly. They will approach their partner and ask “What is going on.” They will want to “talk things out.” It will be hard for them to “let things go.”

On the other hand, people who are more prone to a”flight” response will try to avoid solving problems. They will not want to talk things out. They will feel attacked and try to withdraw and avoid criticism.

Which one of these sounds more like you? Which one of these sounds more like your spouse?

The most common pattern that people get into his fight versus flight. Once spouse will try to solve problems, the will try to avoid talking about problems.

In my marriage, I am the fight response.

I am always trying to chase my wife when I feel distant from her.

One time I literally chased her around the kitchen trying to get her to talk about problems with sex in our marriage.

If both spouses are more wired for a fight, there will be more explosive type conflicts between the two.

If both are wired for flight, they may never talk about anything and slowly feel the passion die in their marriage.

This leads to both spouses feeling even more distant and creating increased conflict or emotional separation between the two.

Sue Johnson – The Hold Me Tight Solution

In essence, emotionally focused therapy has the goal of stopping these patterns of conflict.

The goal is to try to uncover the feeling of distance between the two partners.

For example, instead of a fight person accusing his wife of not giving him enough appreciation, he would say something like”I want to feel important to you and I don’t when you forget to appreciate me taking out the trash.”

Instead of running away, a flight person might say something like “when you tell me I didn’t pick up the kids, I feel like you’re saying I am not doing a good job as a husband. I feel hurt and attacked when I want to feel important and appreciated by you. You are so important to me.”

In other words, the goal is to get to the deeper feelings of wanting to be loved, cherished and validated by your spouse.

Instead of going to the anger and fear that often fuels conflict in marriage.

You can get a copy of her book here.

Pros of Sue Johnson Hold Me Tight

In my experience, the approach of Sue Johnson is very helpful in several ways.

1. Helps identify your fighting pattern

Just recognizing the way that you tend to respond conflict conflict in your marriage is very helpful.

If you can break out of that cycle and approach things any more productive fashion, your marriage is bound to improve.

2. Helps you understand (some of) your deeper feelings

Going through and they hold me tight process does help you access some of the more vulnerable feelings that come up in marriage.

These include wanting to feel loved, accepted, supported and validated by your spouse.

3. Hold Me Tight accesses one of the main human needs

Humans definitely have a need to belong to someone else. To be best friends. To be soulmates. To be connected like nobody else.

It is one of the main things that we want in life. And, it’s one of the main things that we hope to have filled in our marriage.

However, this approach does at times fall short.

Cons of Sue Johnson Hold Me Tight

In my personal and professional experience, the “hold me tight” approach is certainly very helpful to point.

There are, however, a few significant pitfalls to this approach.

1. Your happiness is dependent on spouse’s approval

Probably the biggest issue with Sue Johnson’s hold me tight approach is that your own personal happiness depends heavily on how well your wife or husband responds to your needs.

The goal in her type of therapy is to try to create quote hold me tight moments” where you bare your soul to your spouse and they come to hold you, embrace you and validate you.

But, what happens with your spouse does not respond in the way that you expected? What if they cannot give you the appreciationIn the way that you are wanting or expecting? What if you are vulnerable and your spouse does not respond?

Into Johnson’s own words, this is one of the saddest things that she sees in therapy.

2. Other-validated vs self-validated intimacy

Hold me tight by Sue Johnson, as well as most other couples therapies, makes the goal of marriage counseling and couples therapy a validation of feelings between spouses.

However, sometimes that validation does not happen. And, It’s not always the best thing spread to happen.

You see, when you feel that you must have your spouse’s validation and approval of what you think and feel,you tend to be very hesitant to share that.

Or, you demand that your spouse validate you before you even share anything. And if they don’t validate you in the way you were hoping, you feel upset and”wronged.”

I know because I did this very much early on in my marriage. And I have seen other other couples fall into the same trap.

If you require that your spouse validate your deeper feelings and emotions, either before or after you share, David Scharch, the author of Passionate Marriage and other great books, calls this “other-the validated intimacy.”

Wanting validation in this way causes many problems, but can come up very dramatically in sex.

Often sex fades and can die in marriage because one or both spouses cannot bring the topic up for fear of rejection.

So what is the solution?

David Scharch calls it self-validated intimacy.

The idea is being confident in what you want and need in the relationship.

Validating to yourself that those wants and needs are legitimate.

If your spouse validates them as well, that’s great.

But if she doesn’t, that’s okay too. You still know for yourself that those wants and needs are legitimate.

3. Hold Me Tight makes your spouse responsible for your anxiety and self worth

Sue Johnson’s “Hold Me Tight” method also looks to a spouse to manage the other spouse’s anxiety in a way.

It is sort of saying “I can’t handle it when you don’t do what I want, so I need you to soothe me.”

While it is very true that our wife or husband can be a great support and soothing mechanism, it does not lead to the strongest type of relationship.

If we have no way to soothe our own anxiety, and are always trying to get that soothing from our spouse, they will eventually get tired of that and want to leave.

This can come out in a constant need for appreciation, sex, gifts or other ways to calm us down and show us that we have value.

I was definitely guilty of this for a long time and and my marriage and have seen the same pattern in many couples.

When we try to get how our sense of value and our ability to calm down from our spouse, eventually they burn out.

Balancing the main human needs

In relationships, humans have two major needs.

One of those is to belong to another person. To have a deep, powerful and passionate connection.

The other major need is to belong to ourselves. To know that we are independent and have our own minds, opinions, values and beliefs.

In my opinion, it is much easier to go on to another person when we truly belong to ourselves.

This means having a deep sense of who we are, and ability to manage our own thoughts and emotions, a sense of our own sexuality, and a clear purpose for our life.

When we truly own these things, we can share them with our spouse and create an amazing, incredible marriage.

Some people say that you have to do all of this work before you get married.

That you need to have this clear sense of self, management of your thoughts and emotions, the ability to manage your own anxiety, etc.

That just isn’t true.

When we get married, most of us are not at that point. Marriage is the opportunity to grow into that kind of person.

Marriage conflict and problems are simply part of that growing up process.

When we learn the skills and tools that we need to become strong spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and sexually, we become the best possible version of ourselves.

And, we get to share the best version with our spouse.

Marriage is the wonderful place that we get to do that.

I love helping men work through this process. To become the best possible version of themselves spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and sexually.

As they do this, their marriage transforms into something amazing.

The 5 Love Languages – Review

The 5 Love Languages - touch

A staple of marriage counseling is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

The main idea is that we all express and accept love in different ways.

We’ll follow the story of Mary and Jack.

This article is written for husbands, but wives can learn the principles here as well.

Jack and Mary are having some trouble. Jack says that his wife “just doesn’t care” about him. Mary says that Jack “doesn’t listen.”

Each day, when Mary is making dinner, Jack comes up and gives her a kiss.

Mary gets annoyed, and Jack gets hurt.

Jack plays with and riles up the kids while Mary cleans up dinner. Mary gets upset by this, but Jack can’t figure out why. After all, Mary said that she wanted Jack to spend more time with the kids.

Mary recently saved up some money to buy Jack a nice watch that she thinks looks great on him.

Jack didn’t look too happy when he opened it, and now never wears it.

Jack and Mary are both trying hard to show love to their spouse, but it just isn’t connecting. What’s going on here?

An Introduction to Love Languages

In 7th grade I took a semester of French. It felt fun to learn new ways to say things, but also awkward. And, since I never practiced it, now I don’t remember much besides how to sing “Frere Jacques.”

Learning love languages can be similarly awkward at first. But, it is one of the most important things you can do to get the kind of deep, meaningful relationship with your wife that you want.

Learning love languages, and becoming “fluent” in your spouse’s love language, is one of the most important thing you can do to get the kind of deep, meaningful relationship with your spouse that you want.

Why is that?

Love languages are the way each of us receive love.

If you want your wife to really know that you love her and feel that love for her, you must communicate it to her not in your language, but in hers.

If your wife speaks only French, but you keep telling you that you love her in English, the message will not get through.

And you’ll both get frustrated because you’re trying to show love, but it’s not being received.

For her (and for you) to feel deeply loved, you each need to “hear” it in your own love language.

What are the love languages you ask? And how many are there? Read on!

The 5 Love Languages

Thankfully, there are not thousands or even hundreds of love languages. There are just 5.

And they are much easier to learn than Chinese.

This idea comes from Gary Chapman and his book, The 5 Love Languages. It’s a great read if you want more information on this topic. You can get the book here.

The premise is that people accept and feel loved in different ways. When we feel loved, our “love tank” is full and our relationship is great.

When we don’t feel loved, our love tank is empty, leading to stress and distress.

While most of us will accept or feel loved in each of these ways, Chapman argues that we have a “primary” love language. I’m not so sure about there being one primary, but I think we definitely respond to some more than others.

Without further ado, here are the 5 love languages (in no particular order).

Quality Time

The 5 love languages quality time

This means spending time together. Date nights, taking walks together, that kind of thing.

Chapman also says that you might know if a love language is important to you by how hurt you feel if the opposite is done. So, if your wife really loves you bringing lunch to her at work or making sure you have date night, she might have quality time as a love language.

If your wife gets really hurt by you spending more time with friends than with her, quality time might be her love language.

Tip: Planning a date will make you golden in her book.

Gifts

the 5 love languages gifts

This one is pretty self-explanatory, though there are variations. My wife likes gifts. She says that “it shows me that you were thinking of me.” I think that’s a pretty common reason that people with gifts as a love language appreciate it.

If your wife really lights up at a gift, and feels badly when people forget a gift on a special occasion, gifts might be her love language.

Tip: Flowers, candy, or a little trinket that reminds you of her are great ideas. It doesn’t have to be something big, just something that shows she was on your mind.

Touch

the five love languages touch

Sex is part of this, but also hugs, kisses, holding hands, massages. And for a lot of women, the non-sexual touch is more important to show love (more on this in later articles).

If holding hands or hugs really helps your wife feel loved and she feels emotionally distant when you are physically distant, touch might be her love language.

Touch can be especially tricky after an affair. See my article here about how to rebuild trust after an affair.

Tip: A hug, kiss, dance in the kitchen, or light touch on the arm will show your wife you love her.

Words of Affirmation

the 5 love languages words of affirmation

If your wife really loves a kind word in a card, note or email, or just a sincere compliment, words might be her love language.

If criticism seems to hurt her more than it does most people, words might be her love language.

Tip: A love note, kind text, or poem would be great for your wife.

Acts of Service

the 5 love languages acts of service

If cleaning up the house or picking up dinner for your wife really melts her heart, she might have acts of service as her love language.

If your wife feels especially hurt and angry by you neglecting helping around the house or with kids, acts of service may be her love language.

Tip: Cleaning things up that are typically “her” job or getting kids ready for school will take you far.

Take some time to figure out what your love language is and your wife’s. It will be one of the best investments that you can do to create a great marriage.

Letting your wife know your love language is also going to be a big help. She may be telling you all the time how much you mean to her, but you may just want her to buy you something nice once in a while.

There are even categories within these categories. For example, my wife really likes when I bring certain foods home, which would be considered a “gifts” love language.  But she doesn’t care as much for flowers.

Take the time to find out what “dialect” of love language your wife speaks and you are on your way to a much more fulfilling marriage.

The Golden Rule Does (Not) Apply

Learning about Love Languages was a big paradigm shift for my husband. He had always tried to show love in the way he likes it, but he eventually realized “the Golden rule” didn’t seem to be working. He loves gifts, but I really don’t. I could appreciate the effort and thought, but then hated feeling obligated to pretend I loved whatever he bought me. Through some frank discussions I was able to help him realize that I’d much rather spend an evening in good conversation with him, rather than him wasting time at a store, spending money on something I probably didn’t want while I sat home alone. Once that clicked- Game Changer!

Stacy S, Utah

This is tricky because my husband KNOWS my love language, but still won’t speak it. He prefers speaking *his* language. I wish he *really* REALLY understood that love languages are real, and they are what fills the other person to their core. I wish he didn’t just figure “Eh, it’s all going to fill the need.”, because it isn’t true. I NEED *my* specific need met in a specific way.

Jill H, California

Have you ever tried to do something nice for your spouse, only to find out that they didn’t really care?

I like surprise parties. My two favorite birthdays of all time have both been surprise parties. So, early in our marriage, I decided to give my wife the best party: a surprise party!

I put a lot of time and effort into getting people invited, food made/brought, arranging everything for the surprise event. As we walked up to the door to the surprise, I couldn’t wait.

But, once she opened the door, her face told me that she didn’t like this kind of thing as much as I did. She was nice about everything and kind, but the end result was a lot of stress for my wife.

If we don’t think about it and make a conscious effort, we tend to show love in the way that we like to receive it. This is normal and natural, but doesn’t lead to the best connection or “full love tanks” for spouses. Usually, it just leads to frustration as you feel like you’re showing love, but it isn’t received.

It takes conscious effort to determine your wife’s love language and yours, then to speak that language in a way she recognizes and appreciates.

Quiz

The following are real responses from nearly 500 wives I surveyed. See if you can figure out which “love language” each woman speaks. Some are trickier than others and some are saying more than 1 love language:

  1. Just simply saying I love you every day.
  2. I have shared with him how important it is to me for us to talk without distractions. He knows it’s important to turn off the TV, our down his phone, and talk with me about any subject. He’s also learned the power of chocolate to make me happy! He brings home treats for me when he knows it’s been a hard day.
  3. I wish he would just listen. I am pretty open about what I want yet that doesn’t seem to matter because he doesn’t show love that way. Example: I don’t want flowers I want a clean house….I still get flowers because that is nice of him.
  4. Talk to me, pay attention to me, dance with me, be intimate without expecting intercourse
  5. Flirt with me and hug/kiss me more

Here’s the answer key:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality time
  3. Acts of service
  4. Probably quality time and physical touch
  5. Physical touch

#4 is probably the trickiest. If your wife gives you an answer like this, you may want to explore more with her which of the love languages resonate with her.

Also, we’ll get into this in later articles, but emotionally connecting with your wife through deep communication is one of the biggest things wives crave from their husbands.

If you feel like you don’t know how to do this, don’t worry. You’ll learn how in later articles.

Just when you thought you had it figured out…

The most attractive thing that he has done, & continues to do, is realizing that my love language changes over time & changing his expression to suit it. Love languages are fluid not concrete & it has meant more to me than I can ever express that he stays aware of me to notice when they change without me having to tell him (sometimes I don’t realize they change either!)

-Mary S, Arizona

Our love languages can and do change over time. So, if all of the sudden your gifts of flowers aren’t doing it for her, don’t automatically assume something is terribly wrong. Your wife’s love language may have just shifted.

It’s a great topic to bring up with your wife and to discuss how you both feel most loved in the present.

The 5 love languages is a good start, but can’t be everything you do to save your marriage or bring back the passion. See my review of marriage counseling here.

Discovering your love languages

Hopefully you can see just how valuable learning your love language and your wife’s can be.

You can download an exercise to help learn your love language and your spouse’s here.

You can also take the test straight from the 5 Love Languages Website here.

This, by the way, is a great exercise for a date night.

If for some reason your spouse doesn’t really want to participate in this, that’s ok. You can do the exercise on your own.

Also, feel free to experiment! Try each of the love languages and see how your wife responds. You’ll likely be able to pick up on what means the most to her.

Consistency is King

Once you learn the love language, make sure you keep it up and stay fluent. Speak it often to keep your wife’s “love tank” full.

One of the biggest findings from the survey was that while some men knew their wife’s love language, they didn’t consistently speak it.

That’s like knowing your wife speaks Chinese, but continuing to speak to her in English.

It’s going to be hard for her to feel loved.

I’ve found it helpful to set reminders on my phone to do certain things my wife appreciates, like send a text during the day.

The 5 Love Langugaes Summary

  • Each person feels loved in different ways
  • A helpful framework to understand how we and others feel loved is by using The 5 Love Languages
  • The 5 Love Languages are gifts, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and words of affirmation
  • Make sure you’re expressing love in your spouse’s language, not yours