Viewing category ‘communication’

Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

Truth: Marriage takes work

Categories: Uncategorized, communication, marriage

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I love awards shows — I have ever since I was a kid — and the two of my three kids who (look like me, and) are wired like me love them too. The three of us sat on the couch with a huge bowl of popcorn and watched the Oscars this past Sunday night. I won’t get into the fact how I think they had the worst host ever or how it seemed to drag on and on and on with irrelevant content (See: All the Dreamgirls stuff), but there were some good moments. Most of them on Twitter, but that’s for another post.

There seems to be some uproar over Ben Affleck’s statement when thanking his wife Jennifer Garner.


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Are you too busy for your spouse?

Categories: communication, love, marriage

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Our church is holding a marriage “course” over four consecutive Wednesdays that is about making sure that you make time to connect with your spouse. I went begrudgingly (I find it ironic that we’re so BUSY, yet they expect us to come for two hours per session), but it was a good evening. We watched some video clips, answered questionnaires, then compared the answers. Not surprisingly (to us), our responses were almost identical.


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5 ways to beat the (marriage) winter doldrums

Categories: communication, love, marriage

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My husband and I both have a case of the Januarys, coupled with fighting a cold (him) and battling PMS (me). We’re open about it and while it would be easy to just grumble and groan, we’ve made a plan to get us out of our funk.


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5 ways to stay connected during the holidays

Categories: communication, love, marriage

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We’re exactly one week away from Christmas (Don’t shoot the messenger!) and tensions seem to be running high not just for my husband and I, but for many of our friends. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but it seems to be turning into one big headache instead. Here are a few tips to stay connected with your other half during the holidays.


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5 ways to better communication

Categories: communication, marriage

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As much as my husband and I are great at communicating, sometimes we are not so great at communicating. To be honest, he is not good at communicating, as he’s more than happy to live in his little bubble of things to be done and not talk to anyone unless he has to for work.

The onus is on me to point it out (AGAIN) and remind him that he has a wife and kids who need more that a side hug and the requisite “How was your day?” He’s quick to get back on track, so there’s one point in his favor.


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Do you ever go to bed angry?

Categories: communication, marriage

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My husband and I lead very (VERY) busy lives between work and three kids and activities. The last few weeks have been even busier, due to the conference I attended, my son hurting his collarbone (It’s not broken, but we spent an entire day in the ER just to find that out), and a few other ‘extra’ things going on. I’ve been manically trying to catch up, to the point where I’ve had moments where it’s hard to breathe. Then, last Thursday night, my husband and I sat down after the kids were in bed and, well. I won’t go into details, but he pointed out a few things that I could ‘improve on.’ And then I hit him with a frying pan.


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Five ways to stay married

Categories: communication, marriage

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1. Fight. Not the screaming, knock-down, drag out time, but bring up issues and hash them out.

2. Encourage each other. Support their hobbies, tell them what they’re good at, be their biggest supporter.

3. Don’t bad-mouth them to your friends (or Mom). Joking about the things that are common knowledge (like my husband’s neat-freak reputation) is one thing, but tearing them down to others is off the table.

4. Spend time together without the kids. Dinner and a movie is a lovely evening out, but even sitting together on the couch (with the TV off) will help keep you connected.


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Have you gone to couples therapy?

Categories: communication, marriage

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When we were pregnant with our third child, our church put on the Alpha marriage course. A bunch of our friends signed up for it, and we did too. Nothing was “wrong” in our relationship, but we thought that getting out of the house once a week for a nice dessert and some one-on-one time couldn’t hurt.


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Things You Should Never Say To Your Spouse

Categories: communication, marriage

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After my husband and I got engaged, we took part in a pre-marital course where they partner you with a ‘mentor’ couple and we worked through topics like communication and finances, etc. (Another couple in the group cracked us up because while the girl had been living on her own for a few years, her fiance was a University student who lived at home with his parents. In the budgeting session, he estimated that their monthly grocery bill would be $250. Haaaaaaaaaa.)

Our mentor couple had us over for dinner one night and gave us some valuable communication tips tha we still use today (including the fact that it’s okay to go to bed angry - things always look better in the morning). Here are a few of them.


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Who are your marriage ‘mentors’?

Categories: Uncategorized, communication, marriage

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Many of my friends have great marriages and they attribute it to their parents. Said parents have been married for decades, have modeled great marriages, and have supported their kids in their own marriages.

My Dad has been married five times (I have eight siblings from the first three marriages) and my Mom has been married three times. That’s six divorces between them, if you’re counting.


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