The following are communication and conflict links, plus suggested resources. We pray, as you use them, they will be helpful for your marriage.
Communication and Conflict Links
• Focusonthefamily.com This is the web site for the ministry of Focus on the Family. One of the many features of this web site can be found when you place your cursor over the top bar that says, “Relationship and Marriage.” A drop-down box will appear. You can then select “Communication/Conflict” to read a number of articles.
• Lesandleslie.com This is the web site for Dr Les and Dr Leslie Parrott who are a husband-and-wife team. They not only share the same name, but the same passion for helping others build healthy relationships. In 1991, the Parrotts founded the Center for Relationship Development on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. It’s a groundbreaking program dedicated to teaching the basics of good relationships. Their web site has free videos, which gives relationship advice on many different subjects. These include communication and conflict resolution, in your married lives together. We highly recommend that you visit their web site to see what they offer to help you.
• Rejoiceministries.org is designed to encourage and give hope to those who are standing in the gap believing God for a miracle in their marriages. They supply its reader’s multiple pages of testimonies of restored marriages where you can read letters of praise to God for answers to prayer. You’ll find testimonies of God’s faithfulness through the various difficulties they’ve encountered in their marriages. Read these stories of restored marriages by clicking into them from the side bar of the Home page of their web site.
Additional Communication and Conflict Links:
• Retrouvaille.org (means “rediscovery” and rhymes with pie). This is a program for couples with serious problems. It’s for those that are disillusioned, separated and/or on the brink of divorce. You’ll be helped by volunteer couples who have also “been to the brink.” These couples have experienced serious problems including affairs, alcoholism, gambling, violence, or who have simply fallen out of love. But they have worked their way back. They’ll teach you how to fall back in love again and heal your own marriage. This successful program (85% when both partners work at it) teaches simple techniques of communication and exercises to work on forgiveness, healing, and restoration of trust.
For those in the USA: to find a program in your area call, 800-470-2230 or you can visit their web site.
• 201 Great Questions -Compiled by Jerry Jones, published by NavPress. Whether you’re traveling with family, eating lunch with a friend, or getting together with a small group this book is one you’ll want. You’ll have the time of your life learning more about people you thought you knew—particularly your spouse.
• A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage, written by Scott Stanley, Daniel Trathen, Savanna McCain, and Milt Bryan, published by Jossey-Bass Publishers. This book gives many powerful and practical principles, which are solidly based on Scripture. There is a blending of university research as to what leads to marriages that fail and what leads to marriages that thrive. Also, A Lasting Promise is focused on practical action. They give solid tools you can use to make your marriage stronger, happier, and lifelong to equip you to develop the full promise of your marriage.
• Attachments: Why You Love, Feel, and Act the Way You Do – written by Dr Tim Clinton and Dr Gary Sibcy, published by Thomas Nelson. This book addresses why people feel and act the ways they do. The authors say that how successfully we form and maintain relationships throughout life is related to early issues of “attachment.” This book is for those who desire closeness. It covers many intimate relationships including marriage, parenting, close friends, and ultimately with God.
• Because I Said Forever: Embracing Hope in an Imperfect Marriage -by Deb Kalmbach and Heather Kopp, published by Multnomah Publishers. This book is a compilation of true testimonies on various subjects of marriage lived out by different women who have and are living through some really tough situations. And yet God has helped them to live victoriously despite the difficulties. The authors have done an excellent job of “applying biblical principles to the challenging issues involved in a difficult marriage.”
• Foolproofing Your Life: How to Deal Effectively with the Impossible People in Your Life -written by Jan Silvious, published by WaterBrook. This is a book to help you deal with difficult people. “In dealing with such people, we often try a number of coping strategies. Unfortunately, our best attempts at making peace often fail. This is because the difficult people in our lives are often what the Bible calls ‘fools.’ And dealing with fools requires a special kind of biblical wisdom. You’ve tried everything—from confrontation to passivity. You’ve found out what doesn’t work. Now discover what does.
• How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You -written by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby, published by Multnomah. This book is about what a wife “can do and say and think and change that will create an inviting climate for warm conversation.” It “is fun and practical. It’s an easy-to-read primer of sorts that will help you resolve the age-old mystery of communication between the sexes. You can open this book to any section and pick up a tip that can encourage your husband to talk to you.
• How We Love -written by Milan and Kay Yerkovich, published by Water Brook. The authors of this book “draw on the tool of an attachment theory to show how your early life experiences created an ‘intimacy imprint.’ It’s an underlying blueprint that shapes your behavior, beliefs, and expectations of all relationships, especially your marriage. They identify four types of injured imprints that combine in marriage to trap couples in a repetitive dance of pain. The principles and solution-focused tools in this book will equip you in many ways. This book helps you to identify the imprints disrupting your marriage. You’ll learn how your love style impacts your mate. Plus, you’ll learn to break free of negative patterns that hinder your relationship. Also, enhance your sexual intimacy, and create a deeper, richer marriage.”
• Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires -written by Dr Emerson Eggerichs, a Focus on the Family book, published by Integrity Publishers. This is a marriage book that makes a difference! It delivers a revolutionary message. People are saying about this book: “I’ve been married 35 years and have not heard this taught.” — “This is the key that I have been missing.” — “It caused a light bulb moment for me.” — “You connected all the dots for me.” — “As a counselor, I’ve never been so excited about any material.” — “You’re on to something huge here.”
Based on over three decades of counseling, as well as scientific and biblical research, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his wife, Sarah, have already taken the “Love and Respect” message across America. They are changing the way couples talk to, think about, and treat each other. What do you want for your marriage? Do you want peace and to feel close? Do you want to feel valued and experience marriage the way God intended? Then why not try some “Love and Respect.”
• Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis, by Dr James Dobson, published by Multnomah Publishers. In this book, Dr. Dobson offers practical help for the spouse who wants to hold the marriage together. He shows how to rekindle romantic interest and draw the offending partner back home. For new generations faced with ever-increasing threats to stable and loving bonds, Love Must Be Tough offers realistic hope.
“Dr. Dobson’s makes the seemingly radical recommendation that people facing infidelity or other marital crisis of similar proportions precipitate a crisis to bring the situation to a boil. Dobson’s point is that that boil will very often restore the relationship. Precipitating the crisis shows your mettle, which commands respect and even admiration. This book is NO GUARANTEE that you will win your spouse back. But, like anything else, if you don’t do something you will more assuredly lose them anyway. Pray hard and read this book if you want to keep them. Learn to give them space.”
• Staying Connected in your Marriage -by Al Francis Lacki, published by Uplift Enterprises. This book has short daily readings designed to be used in a quiet time together. It is designed to provoke thought and help you learn more about yourself and each other.
• Talk Easy, Listen Hard: Real Communication for Two Really Different People written by Nancy Sebastian Meyer, published by Moody publishers. This is a book we highly recommend. It has shorter versions of some of the important communication info we have read through (that helped our marriage). It will help you to better understand your wife or husband. As the book says, “it helps you tackle your communication barriers, not each other.” Many of the things covered in this book (which is laid out very simply), are things we learned through many different resources. But what’s great about this is that it’s all in one book. How we wish we would have had this book earlier in our marriage!
• The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts -written by Dr Gary Chapman, published by Northfield Publishing. This outstanding book will help you to express your love to your spouse in a way that he/she understands. In this new edition, you’ll also find a couple’s guide to help you work as a team. Before you know it, you’ll learn to speak and understand the unique languages of love. And you’ll effectively express your love as well as feel truly loved in return.
• The Best Thing I Ever Did for My Marriage: 50 Real Life Stories -Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby, published by Multnomah Publishers. This book contains 50 eye-opening, often humorous true stories. There are contributions from Cynthia Heald, Dee Brestin, Rosemary Jensen, Donna Otto, and more. This book inspires you to: bring down walls between you and your husband. You’ll learn to adjust to differences in your personalities. Plus you’ll learn to deal with the damage and heartbreak of betrayal, and go on living when everything goes terribly wrong. The women in this book have walked in your shoes! They share the struggles in their marriages and what got them on track again.
• The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope – written by Leslie Vernick, published by Waterbrook Press. This book is for any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage. In it, Leslie offers a personalized path forward. Based on decades of counseling experience, her practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries. She helps you to break free from emotional abuse. This book comes HIGHLY recommended by many counselors.
• The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted -written by Dr. Tim and Julie Clinton, published by Word Publishing. This workbook is an interactive couple’s guide. It will help heal your hurts and construct a nurturing marriage. It applies the author’s years of experience in marriage counseling to help you recognize the warning signs and process of emotional distancing. Plus you’ll learn how to break patterns that have taken root. Each chapter contains a topic for discussion. There is also a Bible study, and optional activities.
• The Walk-Out Woman: When Your Heart is Empty and Your Dreams Are Lost, written by Dr Steve Stephens and Alice Gray, published by Multnomah. We HIGHLY recommend this book. It’s written for women who need practical, inspiring help to breathe new life into their marriages. As the authors say, “We pray that you will recognize the symptoms and dangers of becoming a walk-out woman. Opening your heart to your marriage again is indeed a risk. But we believe it’s a risk worth taking. We help you understand your husband better and ways you can encourage him to listen to your hurts and anger. We help you understand more about yourself as well. We’ll talk about realistic and unrealistic expectations. Plus, we’ll give you strategies for taking care of yourself, get connected again with your husband, and press closer to the Lord.”
• The Wounded Woman: Hope and Healing for Those Who Hurt -written by Dr Steve Stephens and Pam Vredevelt, published by Multnomah Publishers. This is a good book for women who are finding it difficult to cope with tragedies. It offers you the pathway to regain your footing, and restart your life. Plus, contained within its pages are testimonies to guide you toward recovery. It will inspire you to press forward in new found strength. As Dr Stephens says, “We cannot change the past. What has occurred —with all of its hurt, injustice, cruelty, disappointment, and tragedy —has slipped into history. It is beyond our control. Even so, we can change how we view the painful realities that have touched our life.” The mission of this book is to help you move forward as you work through your pain.
• We Need to Talk -written by Robert and Rosemary Barnes, published by Zondervan Publishing House. This easy-to-read book is a hands-on, “how-to” resource for couples at all stages of marriage. It has helpful summaries and questions at the end of each chapter to encourage open sharing. Plus, it provides practical ways for you to: Reduce misunderstandings and defensiveness. It guides you to set aside time for meaningful conversation. You’ll learn how get through to a clammed-up “shellfish,” a prickly “porcupine,” an elusive “prairie dog,” or a vegged-out “couch potato.” It also helps you to talk frankly about sensitive subjects. This includes sex and rebuilding communication after a serious rift.
• When Love Dies How To Save A Hopeless Marriage -written by Judy Bodmer, published by Word Publishing. This is a refreshing, honest look at one woman’s journey to the edge of divorce. It covers her commitment to stay even though she didn’t feel like it. And then it leads you through her eventual rediscovery of the love that she thought had died. Some of the subjects she discusses from her own experience are: You Don’t Know How Bad Things Are; You Don’t Know My Husband; I Can’t Forgive or Forget; I Can’t Change the Way I Feel. Plus: I had So Many Dreams; I Don’t Love Him; We Can’t Talk; I Feel So Angry. Additionally: I Married the Wrong Man; I Don’t Want Him to Touch Me; I Don’t Feel Loved; and I Just Want to Be Happy.
• When Sorry Isn’t Enough: Making Things Right with Those You Love – written by Gary Chapman, published by Northfield Publishing. In this book Dr Chapman teams up with psychologist Jennifer Thomas. The basic premise for this book is “that we don’t all agree on what constitutes a sincere apology.” That’s why so many apologies aren’t accepted. The authors emphasize that “you need to learn the ‘language’ of the person you are apologizing to. For one person, it may be expressing regret, while for another it’s accepting responsibility or making restitution.” This book helps you to see a fuller picture of the importance of knowing HOW to apologize to the other person so they understand fully how sorry you are.
• When Work and Family Collide -written by Andy Stanley, published by Multnomah Publishers. This book presents a strategic plan for resolving the tension between work and home. You’ll find ways to deal with the busyness that wreaks havoc with the relationships you consider most important. As Dr John Maxwell says about this book [which we agree]: “This is a life-changing book and extremely relevant to our modern way of life. Author Andy Stanley confronts us with truth and transparency. Just as he had made a commitment in his own life to balance his family time with his work, he encourages us to make similar commitments. Every couple, every parent, and every leader needs to read this book. It’s important to consider the question: Who wins when my family and work collide?”