Ep. 25: The Best Marriage Advice

This is a special episode because it was put together by YOU! Yep, we surveyed our followers and asked them what the best marriage advice they ever received was, and let us tell you, they answered!

On today’s episode we shared what you all said your best advice was. You’ll get to hear our thoughts and see if you’ve been applying any of this wisdom in your own marriage. Here ya go:

  • Fight naked! Have you ever fought physically or emotionally naked with your spouse while letting it all hang out? Being vulnerable is a fast route to resolution.
  • Remember that you’re married to God’s son or daughter. Ooh, that one stings when you think about how you may have treated them on occasion.
  • Never speak negatively or gossip about your spouse. Use your words to speak life and to encourage and uplift.
  • Lower your expectations. Let your spouse off the hook for not meeting all the things you hoped they would.
  • Have a PhD in your spouse’s upbringing. Know the home they came from and how they were shaped to help you understand their triggers and their reasons behind why they do the things they do. Be a resource.

There are many more where this list came from so go check out our article on 17 Great Pieces of Marriage Advice.

Also, you can catch our Instagram Reel we mentioned with the toilet roll HERE.

 

How to Spring Clean Your Marriage

How to Spring Clean Your Marriage

Nothing inspires us to simplify, clean and start afresh quite like spring does. So why not make use of all that motivation and get some cleaning done in your marriage too? Let’s be honest, it probably got a little dusty over the winter anyways. Holidays, the bitter cold, darker days, and of course this year’s flu season covid pandemic, all demanding your relationship be placed on the back shelf, or perhaps shoved into a closet somewhere.
But!
Spring is here now, and it’s time to take it down, dust it off and give it a good ol’ spit shine (well, maybe not that, but you get the point!). Seriously though, when is the last time you’ve evaluated what’s in your marriage like you do what’s in your garage every year? What is lying around not being put to good use, what have you forgotten you even had, and what can you get rid of that is no longer working?

Been a while? We get it.

So, let’s go ahead and find out now…

How to spring clean your marriage

The first step is to Evaluate…

Have a good look around. Is there anything you’ve swept under the rug?
If so, now is the time to clear it out.
If you’re holding any resentments because issues weren’t dealt with, take the time to sweep those out and talk about them too. Do you have any problems that you are currently sweeping under the rug? Well, guess what? It’s time for them to also be seen and known.

 Lumps under the rug just get bigger over time. Decide together to be a couple that shares with one another. Talk about the hard things and work together to keep those marital lumps from under all the rugs. Avoiding things disrupts communication and makes it even more difficult.

Emphasizing the importance of taking care of marriage

Next, Make Repairs

Do you have anything broken that needs to be fixed?
Ask one another what isn’t working in your marriage.

Check in and see if there’s anything you could be working on to make your marriage better.
How is communication between the two of you going? Conflict resolution?

Do you both feel emotionally safe with each other?

If you identify something that needs repair, fix it! Your marriage isn’t just like an old broken rake in the garage that can be trashed, it’s a one of a kind treasure. Fix it!

Lastly, Find what’s been lost…

While you’re looking around, is there anything you misplaced or forgot you had? What’s that back in the corner underneath all the things?

A date night? Go get it!
Dust off the cobwebs and start enjoying that time together again!

 How about some lofty dreams you shared together?
Have you been taking action going after those? Now is the time!

Once you’re done, try to remember when the last time was that you’ve sat down and chatted about memories? I’m sure there are some great times you’ve shared that could be once again put-on display.
Spend some time together planning new dreams, new memories and reliving old ones.
Your time together through the years are those rare hidden gems. They are the diamonds in the rough. Polish them off and enjoy their hidden beauty. Let them serve as reminders of your love.

Spring is always a time of new growth, new life and new beginnings. It’s a time to be inspired! And while you are, don’t just reorganize your linen closet or your garage. Refresh your marriage. Declutter, clean it up and repair.
Trust us, you’ll really love the before and after!

Now, go on and Enjoy the Journey!

For more on this topic, check out our latest podcast episode here, or on your favorite podcast player!

When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce

When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce

There’s not much quite as painful as being in a marriage with someone who doesn’t want to be in it with you. This can definitely be a challenging situation, but it’s not always as hopeless as it may seem.

“My spouse wants to leave me, but I want to fix our marriage.

What should I do?”

First things first, respond instead of reacting.

There are a lot of emotions going on, which makes it so much easier to panic and not think clearly. If your spouse has one foot out the door, sometimes the thing that pushes them to make the final step out is your reaction. They’re likely leaving because they are feeling fed up or just—done. Your response can either reinforce their feelings or cause them to take pause.

By no means are you in control of your spouse or whether or not they walk out on you, nor do you want to be, BUT, you are in the best position to be their greatest influence—and it’s your influence that will give you the greatest bang for your buck here.

“So, tell me what to do!”

Okay, what you do now is you lean in and listen. You seek to understand.

You don’t defend yourself and try to argue against their complaints, you simply receive what they share. What your spouse shares is knowledge that you need. On top of that, we all want to be heard and this is an opportunity for your spouse to feel heard. When you learn what it is they’re longing for you can now identify what they need.

A large part of the mission to repair your marriage in these situations will feel unfair and one-sided, but that’s ok, it is for a much higher purpose right now. Your goal is to seek to understand what their struggle is,  if they offer it, because not all will at this point because they may have checked out a while ago. But the bottom line is this—they want out because they feel hopeless. You engaging them and listening is breathing a little bit of hope back in.

Your next step is to make it clear that you’ve heard them and that your intention is to repair your marriage. This may go something like this…

“I am so sorry that you feel that way and that we are where we’re at, but I need you to know that I want to do everything I can to save our marriage. I still want to be married to you.”

And now here’s where it gets challenging… you begin to work on you. You step back from engaging in any usual arguments and you step back from pleading for them to stay, and you begin to create a safe and peaceful atmosphere where you are focused on making yourself a better spouse and individual. After all, a divorce rarely happens as a result of 100% one person. There may be some things you need to improve on that would make your marriage work better, for instance, perhaps you…

Swept problems under the rug… 

Turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms…

Became conflict avoidant…

Too passive or aggressive with communication…

Learned to withhold how you really feel, or…

Should have put boundaries up a long time ago…

We all have something we can improve upon, and at the very least, getting help and having someone to help you navigate this road will be beneficial.

A spouse that is leaving can often delay their leaving or recommit after seeing how serious you are about making changes to impact your marriage. Starting with you, instead of them, provides a safe place where they don’t feel forced into change and it also gives them something they may very well want to stick around and watch. They may not want to work on your marriage yet, but they may appreciate you moving forward doing the work even when they’re not invested. Your efforts will speak volumes.

Ultimately, if you lean in and listen it allows them to be heard and have a voice, something we all want. And when you share your desire to save your marriage and then apply actions that show that by getting help yourself and making changes without requiring them to change first, it gives them a space place to stay in. In your worst-case scenario where your spouse walks out, you know that you have done all that you could, and it is not on you. Finally, by getting help yourself with counseling or coaching you will come out of it in a more healthy place.

For additional resources, go to Expedition Marriage Blogs

Or for some encouragement, check out A Message From God for Your Hurting Marriage

Ep. 21: Part 4 – How to L.O.V.E. your Way Through Conflict

Expedition Marriage with Chris & Jamie Bailey
Ep. 21: Part 4 – How to L.O.V.E. your Way Through Conflict
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This episode was the final episode in the 4 part series on How to L.O.V.E. Your Way through Conflict. On today’s episode we talked about evaluating the interests of both you and your spouse so you can achieve a win/win in your marriage.

Having a win/win marriage is being able to ask your spouse what their win is in addition to just seeking your own. You may or may not realize that when you fight to win, you’re also fighting to make your spouse lose.

There are three ways you can achieve a win/win marriage:

  • Common solution where you both win
  • Compromise where you both give a little for the win
  • Sacrifice where one of you willingly gives so your marriage can win

Getting to a win for your marriage requires working the problem backwards. Determine what the win is first and then figure out how to get there through communicating by using the other L.O.V.E. components like listening, observing the effects of your spouse, and valuing and validating them. Ask them their win, share with them yours, and then determine your marriage win.

17 Great Pieces of Marriage Advice

17 Great Pieces of Marriage Advice

When it comes to advice on marriage, there are a whole lot of opinions out there. Some of them are valuable, but some, perhaps not so much. As marriage counselors, especially Christian ones, we definitely have our own thoughts on advice for your marriage, but for this compilation, we looked to our Expedition Marriage family over on Instagram and asked them what the best advice they received for their marriage was. 

And let me tell you—they had some FABULOUS words of wisdom to share.

Best Advice for your Marriage

Now, if you’re interested to know what our best advice for married couples is, it’s this…

Don’t give up! Decide right from the beginning to have an “all in” marriage.

When struggles come up, when disappointments happen, and when you both grow and change, decide to always lean in and work it out.

Never run from your struggles, instead, allow God to use them to shape you, to encourage one another, and to grow you.

You can pick and choose from all of this advice along the journey of marriage, but the thing that will always matter the most is your refusal to quit.

Ep. 20: Part 3 – How to L.O.V.E. your Way Through Conflict

Expedition Marriage with Chris & Jamie Bailey
Ep. 20: Part 3 - How to L.O.V.E. your Way Through Conflict
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Today’s episode is part 3 in our the 4 part series on How to L.O.V.E. your Way Through Conflict. We’re talking about how devaluing your spouse can be one of the quickest ways to derail a conversation and turn it into conflict. When you learn how to value your spouse it’s much easier to stay engaged and come to a resolution.

When you value your spouse you’re letting them know how much they’re worth. It’s never a good idea to make your spouse compete with a cell phone, a laptop or a tv screen.

Devaluing your spouse can involves things like: 

  • Being dismissive
  • Minimizing their feelings
  • Disregarding them
  • Using sarcasm
  • Constant interruption

 To head towards resolution it’s important to stay engaged, make eye contact, put down your device, and hear them out.

We hope you leave this episode and forward it on to your spouse or perhaps a friend or two. So many couples suffer in silence before they file for divorce. Be the friend that cares about their marriage and share this episode or any of our other ones. Pass along the encouragement!

 

Quotes from the episode:

“The quickest way to go from a conversation to conflict is to devalue your spouse”

“If you don’t have time to go to counseling or to talk with one another, you definitely don’t have time to argue.” 

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Newlywed Couple's Devotional

(for Newlywed Couples and Newlywed Wanna-Be's)

features:

•  52 Weekly Devotionals that explore common issues and themes every couple experiences, such as intimacy, love, commitment, household duties, finances, and more

•  Everyday Scripture and Reflective Bible Studies that provide practical solutions to bringing marriages closer to God

•  Action-Oriented Discussion Prompts that hold couples accountable for maintaining their God-anchored vows

•  Weekly Prayers that are specific and relevant to the topics discussed

Ep. 19: How to L.O.V.E. your way through Conflict – Part 2

Expedition Marriage with Chris & Jamie Bailey
Ep. 19: How to L.O.V.E. your way through Conflict - Part 2







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This episode is part 2 of the “How to L.O.V.E. your Way through Conflict” 4 part series. Today we’re talking about really honing in on what’s going on with your spouse by the way they react or respond to you or what you’ve said or done. We’re digging a little deeper as we follow up part 1 with some practical tips on how to really observe what the real issue is with one another. Tune in to find out what might really be going on when you’re upset.

 

Find our show notes at https://expeditionmarriage.org/post/podcast/ep-19-how-to-l-o-v-e-your-way-through-conflict-part-2/

Ep. 18: How to L.O.V.E. your way through Conflict

Expedition Marriage with Chris & Jamie Bailey
Ep. 18: How to L.O.V.E. your way through Conflict







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This episode is the first of our L.O.V.E. series where we break down love in an acronym to help you be able to LOVE your way through conflict. On this episode we’ll be sharing the value and the impact of what it means to truly listen to one another in your marriage.

Feeling alone, un-heard, dismissed or disconnected is not okay in a marriage—for EITHER of you. Come on and join us for some biblical wisdom, practical application and the way out of a marriage where listening is hard to come by.

Find our show notes at https://www.expeditionmarriage.org/post/podcast-ep-18-how-to-l-o-v-e-your-way-through-conflict

3 Ways to Lead Your Family Through Fear

3 Ways to Lead Your Family Through Fear

These are unsettling times right now…coronavirus, potential job layoffs, bare shelves in the store, all of it. The fear and anxiety buttons have been pressed in many of us, including us. There’s something about the fear herd mentality that screams at us. We can be doing totally fine until we walk by an empty shelf in a store and suddenly feel this wave of panic telling us that we need that thing!

It’s in that moment that we must become leaders instead of part of the herd. We must become protectors of the ones who need it and voices of calm and reason for our families. So, when we pass by the shelves for hand sanitizer, toilet paper, soap, masks and medicines, we must PAUSE and then ask ourselves, ”Do I need any of these things right now”? If the answer is no, walk away. Take hold of that anxiety and walk away, save the supplies for those who are in need.

Calm the anxiety, leave supplies on shelves so others won’t be tempted to buy in fear… like you just were. Be the leader. Take the risk of not having toilet paper.

When it comes to fear, as believers, hoping that you are one, we need to take that stuff captive. Fear must bow down to God, not run off hoarding. Fear begs you to trust in yourself and take things into your own hands, all the while God is more than capable of handling them. It’s the same doubt the Enemy caused in the Garden. Did God realllly say that??? YES, friend, yes He did. DO NOT FEAR.

When the world begins to panic, which it is, when your husband or wife gets riddled with anxiety, which many are, or your children are beginning to fear, it’s time for leadership. It’s time to be the voice of reason and the voice of calm.

Here are three simple, but yet, not so simple things you can do…

1. Know the truth and rest in it. What are the facts? What is the CDC saying the protocol is? What are the steps you should take? Most importantly, what does God say? Learn the truth and then follow it.

2. Sit in the discomfort of being out of control. Fear and anxiety’s most powerful tool is getting you to react. You move, you follow it, it wins, and it grows. Do what you can…wash your hands, cover a cough, all the things, and THEN, sit. Simply, and not so simply, sit back, accept the vulnerability of your weakness and make friends with it. Tell it that you don’t like it, but you will sit with it. Ask it to pull up a chair instead of allowing it to take off in the driver’s seat.

3. Control your focus. Did you know that what you focus on gets bigger? Yep, it’s true. The more you focus on something, the more it gets magnified. What are you focusing on? News, article after article, social media, what ifs and worse case scenarios? I bet when you read those things you physically feel the anxiety increase… You know what I’m about to say now, right?

STOP IT!

Stop reading and focusing on the things that are upsetting. You’ve done step one, do what you can and then rest. You don’t need the overload of information that fear is telling you that you do. It’s just adding more fear.

If you want to lead your family through fear, how about during all of these closures, you sit back, play a game, turn off social media and the news, and once again enjoy one another’s company. For so long we’ve been so disconnected from our families and each other. Perhaps the gift in all of this mess is just that, an opportunity to face fear and overcome it, to reconnect to one another and take back what the Enemy has been trying to steal for generations…our peace, our hope and our families. Enough is enough. Protect your families, protect the vulnerable…

KNOW THE TRUTH…

GET COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE…

CONTROL YOUR FOCUS.

You can do this! God has not given you a spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7

Newlywed Couple's Devotional

(for Newlywed Couples and Newlywed Wanna-Be's)

features:

•  52 Weekly Devotionals that explore common issues and themes every couple experiences, such as intimacy, love, commitment, household duties, finances, and more

•  Everyday Scripture and Reflective Bible Studies that provide practical solutions to bringing marriages closer to God

•  Action-Oriented Discussion Prompts that hold couples accountable for maintaining their God-anchored vows

•  Weekly Prayers that are specific and relevant to the topics discussed