The following are Web Site links and descriptions to resources on the subject of communication and conflict. We pray you will find them helpful for your marriage.
• Focusonthefamily.comThis is the web site for the great 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 show up and you can select “Communication/Conflict” to read a number of articles.
• Marriagepartnership.com. Marriage Partnership Magazine was an American-based magazine dedicated to strengthening your marriage to help you get a better picture of how to work together as a team. This EXCELLENT resource focused on a variety of vital marital issues like communication, money, forgiveness, sex, and your spiritual life together. It was published by Christianity Today International. Although the magazine is no longer in publication, they house the articles (and include new articles pertaining to marriage) on the Todays Christian Woman web site. They have a free newsletter which you can sign up for at their very helpful web site.
• Lesandleslie.com This is the web site for Dr Les and Dr Leslie Parrott who are a husband-and-wife team who 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 — a groundbreaking program dedicated to teaching the basics of good relationships. Their web site has free videos that you can view on your computer which gives relationship advice on many different subjects including communication and conflict resolution, which you will deal with in your married lives together. We highly advise that you visit their web site to see what they can offer you.
• Rejoiceministries.org. This entire ministry, 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 more than 18 pages of testimonies of restored marriages and over 72 pages where you’re able to read individual letters of praise to God for answers to prayer and testimonies of God’s faithfulness through the various difficulties they’ve encountered in their marriages and families. You can read the testimonies and the stories of restored marriages by clicking into them from the side bar of the Home page of their web site.
• Retrouvaille.org. (meaning “rediscovery” and rhymes with pie) This is a program for couples with serious problems 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” —who have experienced serious problems including affairs, alcoholism, gambling, violence, etc. or who have simply fallen out of love —but who have worked their way back. They’ll teach you how to fall back in love again and heal your own marriage and make it stronger than ever before. 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.
The program begins with a weekend and includes 12 follow-up meetings over 3 months. These are not spiritual retreats, sensitivity groups, seminars or social gatherings —there are no counselors involved and you don’t have to say anything in front of anyone else. Couples discuss the topics and practice the skills in private. It has a blank envelope -donation system and is open to couples of all faiths and to the non-religious. 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 with 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. Unlike many books that are more theoretical or insight-oriented, this one is designed to provide a rich resource of the many thigns you can do to protect your marriage and make it better. Not only that but the things they encourage you to do have been shown in research, to make a difference for many couples. 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.” They cite four primary bonding styles that explain why people love, feel, and act they way they do. This book is for those who desire closeness, especially in the most intimate relationships: 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.” Women who read this book will “understand how doing things God’s way brings fulfillment and peace, regardless of the circumstances.” Too often divorce becomes the prime option considered when marriage becomes really tough. The great thing about this book is it gives the readers some different biblically based options to consider.
• 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. Gain the tools you need to get along with others and conduct your relationships in a manner that honors God and preserves your sanity!
• 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 —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 or two that can encourage your husband to talk to you. So whether you have lots of time to read or just a few minutes a week, you’ll find this book helpful.
• 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’ —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 to… – identify the imprints disrupting your marriage – understand how your love style impacts your mate – break free of negative patterns that hinder your relationship – 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 and are changing the way couples talk to, think about, and treat each other. What do you want for your marriage? Want some peace? Want to feel close? Want to feel valued? Want to 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 premise of tough love, which essentially means defining and maintaining the line of respect around yourself, seems sound and practical. Applying it avoids the drawn-out, torturous emotions that go with living in a decaying relationship. Dobson 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 or significant other 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 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 because it has shorter versions of some of the important communication info we have read through (that helped our marriage) that 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 our very simply), are things we learned through many different resources. But what’s great about this is that it’s all in one book —some of the highlights of the best, within the same resource. How I wish I would have had this book earlier in our marriage. This book can really open your eyes.
• 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. You’ll find that before you know it, you’ll learn to speak and understand the unique languages of love and 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—including contributions from Cynthia Heald, Dee Brestin, Rosemary Jensen, and Donna Otto—that will inspire you with moments that build stronger marriages. It inspires you to: bring down walls between you and your husband, adjust to differences in your personalities, deal with the damage and heartbreak of betrayal, and go on living when everything goes terribly wrong. As the authors, Nancy Cobb and Connie Grisby say about this book (and we agree with) “You’re about to embark on an eye-opening journey that we believe you’ll walk away from feeling hopeful and inspired. The women in this book have walked in your shoes! With refreshing honesty and insight, they share the struggles in their marriages and what got them on track again. And the masks have been dropped! Regardless of whether every chapter applies to you or not, we think you’ll be encouraged and heartened. Each chapter offers insight to help you build a stronger marriage, while sharing inspirational truths about God’s design for your life.”
• 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 intensely practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries and break free from emotional abuse. Learn to: – identify damaging behaviors – gain the skills to respond wisely – promote healthy change – stay safe – understand when, why, and even how to leave (if that’s necessary) – recognize that God sees and hates what is happening to you. 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 which 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 —helping you to break patterns that have taken root. Each chapter contains a topic for discussion, 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 and inspiring help to breathe new life into their marriages, which may seem hopeless. As the authors say, concerning this book, “We pray that you will recognize the symptoms and dangers of becoming a walk-out woman and that you will realize that it is not a path to happiness. Opening your heart to your marriage again is indeed a risk, but we believe it’s a risk worth taking. We want to help you understand your husband better and show some ways you can encourage him to listen to your hurts and anger. We want to help you understand more about yourself as well —why you may have started “keeping score” and how you have built a wall around your heart. We’ll talk about realistic and unrealistic expectations and the dangers of creating a new fantasy with someone else. We’ll also give you strategies for taking care of yourself, getting connected again with your husband, resolving conflict, dealing with anger and loss, remembering the good times, and pressing 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 filled who are finding it difficult to cope with some of the tragedies that plague them. It offers you the pathway to regain your footing, restart your life, recover your energy, and reclaim your joy. Contained within its pages are real-life testimonies that will guide you toward recovery and inspire you to press forward in new found strength —not in spite of your wounds but because of them. 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, beyond our control. Even so, we can change how we view the painful realities that have touched our life and what we say to ourselves about those realities.” The mission of this book is to help you move forward as you work through your pain, “reminding you that there is hope —that you’re not alone. God never promised to keep us from wounds, but He did promise to be with us and to help us heal.”
• 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 and honest sharing and provide practical ways for you to: Reduce misunderstandings and defensiveness; set aside time for meaningful conversation; 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 —including sex and rebuild 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, her commitment to stay even though she didn’t feel like it, and 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; I had So Many Dreams; I Don’t Love Him; We Can’t Talk; I Feel So Angry; 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 to dissect this difficult subject. 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. It’s not as simple as apologizing —it’s also knowing what the other person needs from you to know and accept your sincerity.
• 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. One of the main reasons it is life changing is because a godly man who makes choices in his own life to never sacrifice his family for success has written it. If he wins the world but loses his family, what has he gained? Every couple, every parent, and every leader needs to read this book and consider the question: Who wins when my family and work collide?”