Touch Is Foundational For Our Well-being 

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

Babies denied skin-to-skin stimulation usually struggle with physical, mental, and emotional developmental issues.  Neglected babies often “fail to thrive” due to touch deprivation.  The good news is that through emotional support and physical touch on a daily basis, the negatives for those babies can be reversed resulting in a happy, successful life.

So science proves that meaningful touch is essential for every child but it is equally important in marriage. Spouses and parents must never underestimate the Power of Physical Touch.  One of the very best ways to stay connected in marriage and parenting is through skin-to-skin contact. Daily, strive to be a wholesome person, spouse, and/or parent by giving and receiving touch with those you love.

TODAY:  Keep track of how many times along with the various ways you touch your spouse, and if you are a parent, your child. 

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Your Marital Ideas May Not Be The Truth

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

Mistakenly, most couples think what creates a happy marriage is loving each other but that is simply only a minor start.  The reason:  not only is loving each other usually defined differently by both spouses, often one spouse’s idea of loving each other is a really false perspective that ends up damaging the relationship.

Years ago I counseled a couple and the wife thought it was okay to scream, yell, and call names because she observed her parents exhibiting those behaviors and her parents were still married.  When I asked for a description of the relationship, the husband chimed in with “they strongly resent each other, do almost nothing together, and sleep in separate bedrooms.”  How to have a healthy disagreement discussion was actually foreign to the wife’s way of thinking because her opinion was not a healthy marital axiom.

The legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said, “Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.”  Likewise, loving each other does not make a satisfying marriage.  Only loving each other with beneficial marital words and behaviors make a gratifying marriage.

TODAY:  Independently, I encourage you and your spouse to make a list of your top ten marital truths that you “think” creates a happy marriage.  Then, together discuss if those ideas are strong marital truisms or merely unhealthy opinions. (If you have children, I urge you to do the same exercise as parents.)

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Good Givers Are Often Good Spouses

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

An attitude of giving by both spouses is what permeates a happy, satisfying marriage.  Developing the skill of giving in all facets of your marriage requires a labor of love on a daily basis.  The flipside to giving is receiving and both spouses also need to receive in order to have a gratifying marriage.

A marriage will rarely be completely fulfilling if either spouse is only capable of giving but not able to receive or if either spouse refuses to give but only wants to receive.  As with most areas of life and relationships, the essential key is balance where both spouses mutually give and receive.

TODAY:  Sit down with your spouse and share marital areas where you want your spouse to give more as well as those marital aspects where you wish your spouse would be more open to receiving from you. 

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More Of; Less Of; Just The Right Amount

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

Like all couples and parents, you continually want to strengthen your marriage bond and parent-child relationship.  Often, in marriage and family counseling, I will ask each individual to answer three questions:  1) What do you  want to do more of? 2) What do you want to do less of? and 3) What are you doing just the right amount?

This simple exercise can really enhance your relationships.  By answering those three questions you will automatically propel your marriage or parent-child relationship in a positive direction.

TODAY:  Sit down with your spouse and share your responses to those three questions.  If you have a child, ask your child to answer those questions in order to better meet their needs. 

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An A.M. Important 5 Minutes

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

What happens for you and your family members during the first five wake-up minutes in the morning?  Frequently, the first five minutes set the tone for each family member within your home, and perhaps, even determines the outcome of their day.  On the positive side, during this critical “5,” family members may feel appreciated, encouraged, and connected.  On the negative side, a loved one may feel hurt, frustrated, and discouraged.

How can we make this “Essential 5 Minutes” a wonderful experience?  We need to avoid the “Cs”:  criticism, complaints, corrections, and condemnation.  This is also not a time to resolve a problem from the previous day.  In addition, avoid any accusatory questions.

Instead, we can wear a smile or at a minimum have a friendly facial expression. When speaking, project a soft, encouraging tone and share upbeat, positive messages with family members.

TODAY:  Make it a goal to have a positive approach with each family member every morning in order to provide them a great start to their day.

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The Daily Essential 10-Minutes

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

A good synonym for love is time.  We can easily determine what we love or value by how we spend our time.

Several months ago at the end of a couple counseling session, I asked both the husband and wife to request one specific need from each other before bedtime.  The wife asked her husband to spend 10-minutes giving their daughter his undivided attention.   Happily, I can report that he willingly concurred with her excellent idea and both dad and daughter enjoyed special time together.

When possible, I absolutely believe that daily we need to spend a minimum of 10 minutes with every significant family member.  Due to divorce, work, etc. I realize that every marriage and family will have different time schedules so that goal may be difficult to achieve on a daily basis.  However, without regular one-on-one time with those closest to us, it will be a struggle to have a meaningful, rewarding relationship.

TODAY:  Schedule 10 minutes of focused attention on each significant family member. 

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Have Honest, Beautiful Communication

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

Sadly, I have frequently had a spouse tell me, “I just want to be totally open with all my thoughts and feelings.”   However, totally open communication can often be brutally blunt which devalues a spouse and damages a marriage.  For example, telling one’s spouse “that actress is stunningly beautiful” or “that actor is really handsome” is not only insensitive but vicious and almost heartless.

The opposite of brutally blunt is honest, beautiful communication, that is, lovingly sharing thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes, wants, needs, with a sincere desire to strengthen a marital relationship. Our ultimate goal with family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, and everyone, is to have Honest, Beautiful  Communication.

TODAY:  Let’s avoid being brutally blunt and make it our goal to have Honest, Beautiful Communication with everyone we speak with throughout this day and every day. 

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Use Together Language

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

God’s desire for marriage is for couples to strengthen their “oneness” (Genesis 2:24) or “togetherness.”  Usually, when I first counsel a troubled marriage, spouses refer to their possessions and relationships with “single” language. Some examples are:  “my” marriage, “my” house, “my” money, “my” room, “my” son or daughter, etc.

Once couples learn simple behaviors and words for increasing their “one flesh” union, “together” language starts to become more prevalent.  After marital improvement, I hear “we” are saving more, “our” cars, “our” child, “we” are planning for a happier relationship, “our” marriage.  My Christian marriage book that is coming soon will practically and specifically provide spouses with the “tools” for reinforcing a couple’s “oneness.”

TODAY:  Please remember to use only “together” language to boost marital commitment and strengthen your “oneness.”

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Dream Together For A Happy Marriage

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.

I absolutely believe that happy couples “Dream Together” about short term, intermediate, and long term aspirations and wishes.  Recently, I counseled with a couple that six months ago had a really troubled marriage, and thankfully now, both spouses are not only satisfied but very pleased with their “new” relationship.  During one of their first sessions, I suggested that to renew their marital commitment and bring joy back to their relationship, start planning for future good-times together.

They implemented that simple habit and together regularly plan for a gratifying marriage by talking about ideas for their next date, wishes for their next mini-vacation, and ambitious visions for their five year anniversary celebrations.  They incorporated “Dreaming Together” as a new simple habit but also are utilizing many other simple habits from my marriage book.

TODAY:  “Dream Together” about short term, intermediate, and long term hopes and dreams to both strengthen your connection and increase your emotional oneness.

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STAR 88.3 Radio Marriage Interview

Last Wednesday I had the privilege of being interviewed by Melissa Montana of Christian Radio Station STAR 88.3 regarding Christian marriage.  Shown below is the link to my interview.

http://star883.com/news/randy-schroeder-the-platinum-marriage

Please be sure to “Like” and “Share” when you visit my professional Facebook page so others may receive the post.  If you enjoyed the interview you may enjoy reading other posts found on the website, www.DrRandallSchroeder.com, under “Categories.” Thank you!

On Wednesdays I post a practical wisdom thought or suggestion on Marriage, Parenting, or Life.