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005 – Vincent & Laura Discuss “Seven Signs Your Marriage Is Susceptible To An Affair”

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SHOW NOTES

1.)  “My spouse will never have an affair on me.”

Marriages are a covenant – a promise to God and to spouse that you will be faithful to each other. Some people take these marriage vows as a guarantee. They believe – “My spouse would never have an affair. He is upright and honest. He is a good Christian. This could never happen.”

They take their spouse’s good-heartedness and loyalty for granted. They continue to neglect the marriage to help the seemingly weaker or more volatile relationships.

They focus more on the kids. They put more time into their work relationships. All of this weakens the marriage. The marriage is taken for granted.

The truth is that all marriages are susceptible to infidelity. A couple has to invest time and effort to maintain the relationship. They must constantly be working on improving it.

No marriage has a guarantee. Once you start believing that yours does, then you begin to put your marriage at risk.

2.)  “We never have conflicts.”

Every couple should have disagreements. Conflict is healthy. No one agrees exactly with someone else on everything all the time.

It is good for a couple to discuss issues that they do agree upon. If conflict is handled well, then the relationship grows and prospers.

When there is no conflict, then someone is not being honest and truthful about how they feel. They are being passive. Anger will build in this passive person, and sooner or later they will express it either aggressively or passive-aggressively.

An affair is very passive-aggressive way of expressing anger.  For more information on handling conflict, read my article “SLOW DOWN! Practical Ways To Handle Conflict.”

3.)  “We don’t have dates.”

Let me first define a “date.” When many people (aka women) think of a date, they picture an expensive meal and an extravagant outing. This most definitely qualifies, but this does not always have to be the case.

A date is planned time spent between two people, usually involving food, but not involving other dependents (ie., kids or their elderly mother) where you get to know each other better.

The key to a date is that it is intentional. Both people are setting boundaries around their time spent together.

Dates always involve a lot of conversation, but they do not always have to cost a lot of money. Dates can be inexpensive like a picnic and a walk.

4.)  “I never use his cellphone.”

Healthy marriages should be honest and open. Whenever spouses are secretive with their cellphone or computer, then there is reason for alarm.

Spouses should be comfortable using each other’s electronic or communication devices. Your spouse has the right to know who you talk to and when.

But it is not healthy for your spouse to be constantly checking up on you. They should not have to, but they have the right.

Your communication with others should be so forthright that they need not to worry. However, in crisis situations, your spouse may have to examine your communication with others.

5.)  “I don’t know what the bills are or how much money he makes.”

Both husbands and wives should be aware of the amount money that is coming in and going out of their checking and savings accounts. Both spouses need access to the financial information in a marriage.

In a healthy marriage, you and your spouse make financial decisions together. You discuss large purchases, spending allowances, and your budget together.

Both of you understand how much bills are and the cost of household expenditures. Honesty and openness with your money discourages the temptation of adultery.  (Having trouble talking to your husband, check out this article:  “How To Get Your Husband To Talk About His Feelings”.)

6.)  “We never pray together.”

Time in prayer together always strengthens a marriage. Sincere prayer is powerful.

Prayer encourages the weak. It convicts the guilty. It breaks hardened hearts. It mends souls.

When a couple allows the holy spirit to guide them, amazing things can happen. The sinning spouse feels compelled to confess.

The offended softens their heart to the sinner while becoming more angry toward the sin. Both are positive ways of building a strong relationship.

7.)  “We don’t agree on parenting.”

One disagreement on parenting doesn’t mean that a spouse is necessarily going to have an affair, but it does create a rift between the husband and wife.

What do children do when there is confusion and lack of cohesiveness with the parenting? They exploit it to get what they want.

They ask dad and if he says no, they ask mom. They find the weak link and get their way. This is unhealthy for the kid, and very unhealthy for the relationship.

If an amicable agreement is not reached, then this parenting issue can cause further divide in the relationship. The anger in one spouse may reach the point to where they feel justified in talking to someone else of the opposite sex about how unreasonable their spouse is.  From there, the door could be opened to an emotional affair.  

Is it difficult for you to get your point across to your husband?  Here’s a skill that will help:  “The Most Misunderstood Couples Skill”.

Are you being blindsided by your spouse?  If your spouse is having an affair, check out my article, “So Your Spouse Is Having an Affair…A Practical Christian Guide.”

Think your marriage is affair-proof? Think again. Relationship Helpers Laura and Vincent Ketchie provide helpful tips in encouraging better habits to prevent affairs in “Seven Signs Your Marriage is Susceptible to an Affair.”

004 – Traci Lester – “Teaching the Birds and the Bees Without the Butterflies”

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SHOW NOTES

Today’s guest is Traci Lester, author of “Teaching the Birds and the Bees Without the Butterflies.” Her book encourages parents on how to give the “sex talk” to their children in a more comfortable and helpful way.

Traci has been in the pregnancy care ministry for twenty-five years and is a client services director for our local pregnancy center. Her heart is for reaching women in the midst of crisis when discovering an unplanned pregnancy.

Traci’s book arose from speaking to school, youth and other groups about sex, in hopes to encourage more informed thinking about sex, leading to fewer pregnancies.

Teenagers Do Not Know Their Value

Traci shares an experience about a group of three fifteen-year old clients. They sought out pregnancy tests at the local pregnancy center.

Traci was struck by the disappointment one felt because she was not pregnant. She had hoped that being pregnant would help her to keep her boyfriend. The girl was trying to find worth in being pregnant.

Traci shared with her how valuable she is to God and how her God-given sexuality is precious. One of the girls did happen to be pregnant, and Traci prepared her for that possibility.

Parents Are Not Talking To Their Kids About God and Their Value

Traci felt that the missing piece in this story was the parents. She feels it imperative that parents teach their children about how precious they are to God. Parents need to be a constant resource for them when they need support.

After talking with parents of teens, it occurred to Traci that the values and much of the knowledge about sex had already been formed. It felt like having to erase years of the world’s influence—doing damage control.

It became apparent that reaching parents of younger children would be the key to starting a foundation upon healthy sex talk.

Traci discusses the misconceptions that keep parents from talking about sex, such as trying to preserve their child’s innocence by not talking about sex.

Parents Need To Be The Experts On Sex To Their Kids

We should be the experts about sex to our kids, rather than society. Parents’ feelings of discomfort have superseded the importance of broaching the topic of sex.

Parents need to talk to each other prior to talking to the children. There is no perfect way to approach the sex talk, but parents need to be prepared with a plan.

Be prepared for them to ask at the most inopportune times. Parents need to be proactive. Parents do not need to know all the answers, only prepared to say “let’s find out together”.

Parents need to be an open door of communication for their children. Their children should feel comfortable to reach out to them when they have questions or concerns.

Traci ends today’s show discussing her call to address taboo topics such as sex, abortion, and the church. She advises asking children what they know about these topics so that they can better fill in the gaps and better educate them.

Traci Lester, author of “Teaching the Birds and the Bees Without the Butterflies”

Traci’s Book

Purchase Traci’s book below:

Traci’s Contact Info

Website: www.teachingthebirdsandthebees.com

Email:  tracilester@charter.net

Nervous about giving “THE TALK” to your children? Let Traci Lester put you at ease with her book, “Teaching the Birds and the Bees Without the Butterflies”. Listen to our podcast to learn more from Traci and her book.

003: When Your Help Doesn’t Help

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SHOW NOTES

Different life events (surgery, childbirth, loss) can place a person in need of help and unable to fulfill typical day-to-day tasks for example:  cooking, laundry, driving, etc.

What are the barriers to getting the help you need?

  1. Not having a social support group or local family.
  2. Not asking for it.
  3. Being a people-pleaser.
  4. Not being direct about what specifically you need.

How do I get the help I need?

  1. Sometimes it means recognizing that you have difficulty being direct.
  2. Understand that others can get frustrated when you are not direct.  You may think you are being “nice” by not being direct, but you could actually be frustrating the person trying to help.
  3. In what seems to be overwhelming or difficult situations, people like to feel like they are contributing.  Giving someone a specific task can make them feel that they are truly helping you.
  4. Recognize that some people are not really sincere about helping.  They may want to “look” like they are helping, when in actuality they have an ulterior motive.  (This is commonly seen in examples of the birth of a child.  When I was discharged from the hospital after the birth of my son, a nurse told me about a woman who had just had a c-section and family had come to visit and she was cleaning her breast pump while the others cooed over the baby. NOT helping.)
  5. This can be a cultural phenomenon.  Women often feel that they must entertain those who come to visit, even when they are in need of an extra set of hands.
  6. If you notice that someone is not helpful, and you have been direct with them, it may be in your best interest to delegate tasks to others who are more helpful rather than keeping up the charade that the other person is helping.
  7. You may need to look at your pride.  And ask yourself, “Is my pride getting in the way?”
Had a baby recently and struggling with the people that are supposed to be helping? Listen to “When Your Help Doesn’t Help” from licensed professional counselors Laura and Vincent Ketchie of Relationship Helpers and their podcast to gain insight into ways to improve your situation.

002: Dr. David Ludwig Discusses His Communication Typology “Painters & Pointers and more

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SHOW NOTES

Dr. David Ludwig is today’s guest. He is a professor at Lenoir Rhyne University, a psychologist and an ordained minister in the Lutheran church. He joins us to discuss how couples get tripped up in their communication styles and lose sight of the “we” of the relationship.

His Background

Dr. Ludwig begins with his background. He was in seminary and in university at the same time when it occurred to him that it is important to understand how psychology and spirituality could work in tandem, rather than separately.

Both fields seemed to deal with soul, only they dealt with the soul differently. Dr. Ludwig decided to marry the two.

Dr. Ludwig has worked mainly with marriages. He sees the marriage relationship as the foundation of the family.

He starts with the part of the relationship that has the power. Trying to change the other person is not operating from a place of power. Dr. Ludwig helps spouses see that they are different from one another, especially in how they communicate.

Painter and Pointers

Dr. Ludwig has created the “Painter/Pointer” typology. Painters communicate by painting a picture with their words. They cannot “think” without talking it out first. They think out loud.

Pointers, on the other hand, think things through before they speak and then when they do speak what they say is to the point. Painters “paint” a picture when communicating, whilst pointers are more like a file on the computer.

Listening Instructions:

A painter must “click” on the file of the pointer. In other words, pay attention to the first words of a pointer’s statement because that is the “point” that he or she is trying to get across.

A pointer must learn to sit back and enjoy what the painter has to say, understanding that the painter MUST “paint” the picture in order to express him/herself. Then, the pointer must summarize what the painter said. This summary shows the painter that he/she understands the feeling behind what is being said.

How the Bad Mood Settles In:

Frustration occurs when painters attempt to get “feeling” out of a pointer, or when pointers get impatient with listening to the painters “paint”.

Painters feel that pointers don’t care about them, or feel that they are not being listened to. Painters don’t feel heard or valued. They feel lonely.

Pointers feel blamed. Often pointers try to fix things, which makes painters feel like they are not being listened to. Conversations then go nowhere and a bad mood settles in.

Painters use words such as “never” to when they are frustrated. Pointers get frustrated by this because it is not necessarily literal. The Painter is using the word for effect.

Painters specialize in being prepared. They can get anxious because they look into what’s going to happen in the future. The Pointer finds this to be “over-reacting”.

If a Pointer allows a Painter to “think out loud”, then the Pointer is valuing the Painter and allowing them to fix themselves.

Painters want to know what Pointers are thinking. They often make the Pointers mad just to get emotion out of them.

Painters Marry Pointers

In an overwhelming majority of cases, Painters marry Pointers.

For Painters to better understand Pointers, Painters must be specific about their questions. Don’t ask a number of questions, instead, zero on one word of their short response and a question specific to that one word.

If you’re not getting emotion from a Pointer, you’re not “clicking” on what he has to say. Pointers do not allow themselves to be emotionally vulnerable.

Painters feel that Pointers are hiding things from them. When actually, the Pointer has revealed things, just not in a way that the Painter understands.

Dr. Ludwig is the developer of the “Painters & Pointers” communication typology.

Resources:

To watch some videos on “Painters & Pointers” : Painters & Pointers videos

Click here to purchase Dr. Ludwig’s latest book:

Having a problem with communication? Find out if you’re a painter or a pointer. Knowing which type you are will help you better communicate with your spouse. Dr. David Ludwig explains how your communication style could be getting in the way of satisfying conversation and how to overcome it.

001: Five Behaviors That Break Down a Conversation

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SHOW NOTES

“I have nothing to wear!” We’ve all either heard it or said it (depending on our gender.) Today Vincent and Laura unpack the hidden meaning(s) behind this common complaint.

Five Common Behaviors That Harm a Conversation

They take a look at five ways that couples can unwittingly destroy a conversation:

1. Talking Too Fast or Talking Over Someone. Many people get carried away with their own thoughts and forgot about the other person. You feel such a need to be heard or win the argument. You forget someone else is a part of the conversation. As a result, you talk too fast or bulldoze over the other person.

2. Not Considering The Other Person’s Point of View. Similarly to the first behavior, you are oblivious – maybe as a result of busyness – or you just don’t care how about how the other person is feeling and their needs.

3. Using Closed Body Language. You are looking away from the other person. Your arms are crossed. Your face is stern and disinterested. All of these are signs of closed body language.

4. Trying to Carry On Conversations From Another Room. This is taking the closed body language to another level, but sometimes people are unaware of the message it sends. Being in another room sends a message, “I don’t want to talk to you” or “what you have to say is not important enough for me to pay full attention.”

5. Device Distraction by Smartphones and Technology. Trying to carry on a conversation while you are on the computer or watching television only frustrates the other person. This distraction communicates, “I am not choosing to give you my full attention.”

Conversation To-Do Checklist

1. Slow down!
2. Ask yourself if you’re missing information from the person talking, before you respond.
3. Summarize what the other person is saying, and if you’ve gotten it wrong, ask more questions so that you can summarize what they are saying again.
4. Summarize until you get it right. (Usually they will nod if you’ve summarized correctly.)
5. Use open body language. (Non-intimidating eye contact, but arms and hands open and welcoming.)
6. Make it a point to speak face-to-face with someone.
7. Don’t have important “conversations” via text or email.
8. Have tech-free dinners, dates, and activities. (When you are with others, have everyone put their devices away.)

After learning how to avoid using the five ways to break down a conversation, you won’t sabotage a conversation again, unless you mean to.

Applicable Bible Verse(s):

James [1:19] – “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

Proverbs: [18:21]“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs: [21:23]“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”

Proverbs: 13:3“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.”

Matthew [12:37]“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Trouble Communicating? Licensed professional counselors Laura and Vincent Ketchie discuss “Five Behaviors that Break Down a Conversation.” Learn ways to overcome these communication errors from their Relationship Helpers podcast.