Monday, September 4, 2017

Marriage Therapy: Lesson 1

I’ve been lost for a while. Lost because I didn’t know what I was really doing to bless and benefit others. Yeah, yeah I’m a mom and I know that I can bless my kids lives every day, but there is something else that I need to give. That I want to give.

I’ve been working hard trying to develop any possible talent or interest that I have to see if one of those things is what I could give. But nothing has clicked. Nothing feels like it helps. Baking cookies and making meals doesn’t feel like it’s changing any worlds. So I’ve been down. For months. Maybe even years.

Tonight, something changed. I was doing some spiritual reading and something clicked, something was brought to my memory.

I used to give marriage tips and advice on my blog and I’ve had outpourings of people telling me that my words, my thoughts, helped to save their marriage. I wanted to write more, share more of the things I learned through my degree and my observations of others and practices in my own marriage. BUT, and here’s the big but...I let doubts creep in. I worried that no one would read my advice and I would waste time that could be better served making a casserole or something for someone else. (That thought was stupid seeing as I’d already had over a million page hits for my marriage article that went viral—obviously people are reading what I’m putting out).

So the doubts amplified in intensity to what stopped me from moving forward--what if I said something wrong and someone’s marriage fell apart because of one of my ideas. Ouch. That doubt has kept me from speaking out, it’s been holding me back. It’s made me bite my tongue more times than I want to admit.

But no more. I’m done. Yes, I’m not perfect. I may say something stupid or my advice might not work specifically for every single case. But I have something to give. I have ideas and thoughts that HAVE worked. That HAVE helped.

So, here’s to a fresh start. And here’s this weeks Marriage Therapy, Lesson 1:

This week’s assignment is to list 5 strengths and 5 talents of your spouse that you wouldn’t want to live without.



If you don’t think it’s easy, then you and I need to have a little talk.

I think I have a gift of seeing the good in others because after talking to someone—anyone—for about 20 minutes, I could probably list off 5 strengths and 5 talents. With that said, this next part I’m going to say is going to hurt if you can’t easily come up with this list in your spouse. Ready? It’s going to sting. I warned you...

You’re an idiot.

Sorry, I had to do it. If you can’t see 5 strengths and 5 talents in your spouse then you’ve kept your eyes shut tight. You’ve been allowing yourself to ignore the amazingness (yes, I made that up) in another human being that you’ve pledged to spend your life with. That sucks for you and I’m sorry. It sucks for your spouse too. Thankfully, life is forgiving (even though it often doesn’t feel that way). In this next week, you can open your eyes and figure out 5 strengths and 5 talents your spouse has that makes your world go round (and you’ll see how big of an idiot you’ve been for not noticing earlier—again, I’m sorry).

So, do your assignment and then check back in with me next week. If you want, tell me what this assignment has done to help you and your spouse and your marriage. If you have a negative experience, I’m truly sorry. But, I’m pretty confident that if you have a negative experience, you’re doing something wrong.

I’ll be back next week with another idea and I hope and pray (I can’t tell you how much I’ve prayed for other people’s marriages) that this will help.


  1. Dedra, I love this! I'm so excited to read more. I agree that recognizing your spouses strengths is so important. In some early times in my marriage when I wasn't seeing Lamon's strengths as clearly, I had some amazing experiences praying to have Heavenly Father bless me to see Lamon as He saw him, and love him the way that God loved him. So I personally know that God can help us see the good in our partners too if we need extra help in our more selfish times. :)