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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Forming New Habits For Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Forming New Habits For Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. Randy Schroeder returns once more to Focus on the Family to discuss habits you can integrate into your marriage! Jim talks to Randy about pursuing the daily essentials of affection in your marriage, promoting emotional closeness, and leaving and cleaving properly. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: September 22, 2022

Preview:

Dr. Randy Schroeder: If there’s one word that points out the difference between a happy marriage and an unhappy marriage, it is planning. You know, a happy, successful couple’s plan to go to church on a Sunday. They plan to give each other a meaningful hug, a meaningful kiss today. They plan how we’re gonna connect tonight. When are we gonna turn off the technology and look each other in the eyes and just talk? They plan for dates together to strengthen their marriage relationship.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Insights from Dr. Randy Schroeder and, uh, you’ll hear more as he has some practical advice to strengthen your marriage. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller. And your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, I think everyone wants a happy marriage. I hope that and, uh, there may be some listening or viewing that their marriages are out of place where it’s not about that. It’s just a matter of being together and sticking together. And we’re gonna cover some great material today that’s going to give you, uh, the handles to do better in your marriage. If you’re in a serious situation, please call us and John will give those details. This is gonna be that kind of tune up program for marriages that might be struggling a bit, but they’re on the right general path. But again, if you’re in a- a much more difficult place, give us a call and we can help you there. Um, we are gonna cover some great content. You know, the Bible recommends a different path to happiness than what I think we in the Western world think about when it comes to happiness. Proverbs 4:5 says: “Get wisdom. Uh, get insight.” And Proverbs 19:8 says: “He who gets wisdom loves himself.” In other words, if you want to enjoy life and have a shalom, a peaceful life, uh, find practical knowledge for living. I think it all starts with our marriages. I mean, you want peace in your life, have a peaceful marriage and everything else kind of cascades from there. So, I’m looking forward to our program.

John: Right. And Dr. Randy Schroeder has been here before. Uh, he’s a pastor, a former seminary professor, and, uh, a marriage and family counselor. Him and his wife, Jenny, have been married for over 45 years and they have two children and six grandchildren. And he’s written a number of books. Uh, the one we’ll talk about today is called Simple Habits for Marital Happiness: Practical Skills and Tools That Build a Strong Satisfying Relationship. Contact the ministry today for your copy of that book. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Or to stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Dr. Randy, it’s great to have you back.

Dr. Schroeder: Well, it’s great to be back and I look forward to, uh, providing simple yet very effective habits for couples to improve and strengthen their marriage.

Jim: I love what you said on earlier programs that we’ve done. You’ve written a book for parenting and a book on marital happiness here that we’re gonna talk about again. Today, we did a- a previous program on this, uh, but we’re gonna cover some of the other information here. But you basically said you structure these books as a counselor would engage with a client, and that people can read these books and they’re gonna get all the information that you would’ve spent thousands of dollars (laughs) on in your counseling settings and, uh, that’s a great way to look at that.

Dr. Schroeder: Well, it- it is free counseling. And like John said earlier, I was a professor for 25 years at a seminary and, uh, taught marriage counseling and premarital counseling, and that information’s in the book. And, uh, Simple Habits for Marital Happiness looks at… It’s the only marriage book out there that looks at all seven areas of a marriage. From how do you apologize to each other, how do you forgive each there, how do you stay in love after the honeymoon, what habits keep you in love after the honeymoon, how do you build emotional closeness, how do you communicate effectively, how do you, uh, guard your relationship from all the temptations in the world, how do you have respectful discussion, and how the financial guidelines… What financial guidelines help you save, budget, and spend together? So, yeah, you’re right, Jim-

Jim: That is perfect, Randy.

Dr. Schroeder: … it is. Yeah. [inaudible].

Jim: Thank you for joining Focus on the Family. Order the book today. I mean, this is great. And I’m so excited when we get a really good resource like this that’s so sound fundamentally. Okay. For the skeptic, the person out there going, “It’s not about happiness, it’s about joy.” And it’s true. I mean, being a Christian, you want a joyful life, but happiness counts too. So, just hit that for the, uh, the purest that are listening that, uh, “Dr. Randy, life is about joy, not about happiness.”

Dr. Schroeder: Well, no marriage is consistently happy or they- is happy every day, I should say. A consistent marriage satisfaction is the goal. You know, you- we can have ups and downs, and, uh, yet, through habits, couples can have a strong, satisfying relationship. 80% of our behaviors are habits.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Schroeder: And couples that have a successful marr- happy marriage, uh, have a gratifying relationship because they have daily healthy habits. They share loving words, loving actions every single day, and that keeps that relationship consistently happy.

Jim: Yeah. In that context, for the person listening, let’s assume it’s the wife who’s listening right now or viewing and she can’t imagine that, you know, that some things have deteriorated in the relationship, they haven’t put basic fundamentals into play, and it’s just kind of on autopilot. Is there really hope for them?

Dr. Schroeder: There is definitely hope. I- I… Jim and John, I have helped more than probably 2,000 couples achieve a consistently satisfying marriage. The sad thing for most couples is every- almost 100% of couples wanna have a happy marriage, but they don’t have the specific words and actions and knowledge to get there. And- and that’s what is lacking. Motivations is great, but if you don’t know how to do it and what to say and how to say it and what to do in a daily basis, then it makes having a happy marriage almost extremely difficult or impossible.

Jim: Well, I think we have laid the groundwork. Let’s get in to the four daily essentials. Uh, these are things that, again, you mentioned early in the book for couples. Take us through the first two of those four essentials.

Dr. Schroeder: Well, the four daily essential habits are- are essential.

Jim: (laughs).

Dr. Schroeder: They need to- they need to- they need to happen. And, uh, what I have seen, uh, in troubled relationships, couples stop saying I love you. And- and in fact, uh, complacency is the dreaded disease that can really damage a marriage relationship. They become complacent and they don’t say I love you every day. So, the first daily essential habit is whoever or whenever a spouse leaves the home, they need to say, “Goodbye. I love you.” Doesn’t make any difference if they’re going to work, they’re going to the grocery store, they’re going to a hardware store. They say, “Goodbye. I love you.” And then the other spouse needs to return or gets to return. It’s not a need to, it’s a get to. Uh, it’s a privilege. “I love you. Have a good day or drive careful wherever you’re going.” And I… There’s a practical rhyme. I will never leave the house without hugging and kissing my spouse, and saying I love you.

Jim: Okay (laughs).

Dr. Schroeder: A- a- and so, that’s the first essential. The second one is, “Good night. I love you.” A lot of couples don’t go to bed at the same time or if they do, you know, one will roll over first to go to sleep. Every night, whoever goes to sleep first will say, “Good night. I love you.” Uh, and then the spouse can return, “Good night. I love you.” And so there’s four I love you’s every day which overcomes that dreaded disease or a part of it, of complacency.

Jim: No, that’s good. I appreciate that. The third is really, uh, about habits and developing those good habits. And you say the first five minutes of the day, number three comes in to play. I’m keeping your rhyming going-

Dr. Schroeder: (laughs).

Jim: … but, uh, hit it. What’s number- what’s number three?

Dr. Schroeder: Good job. Good job, Jim (laughs). We’re rhyming all over the place. Yeah, the- the, uh, so, the first five minutes of the day, uh, set the tone for the day, not only for an attitude but also for a marriage relationship. And so, couples need to avoid the Cs. I stress that to parents, I stress that, uh, to couples, the correcting, criticizing, complaining, condemning. You know, I’ve heard thousands of spouses say, “You know, I wake up and the first thing I hear is, ‘You forgot to put your coffee cup in the dishwasher last night.’” You know, it’s a- a criticism. And so, the first five minutes, a- a spouse doesn’t have to be bubbly joyful, but they need to avoid the Cs, so they begin the day positively. That is a habit that needs to be in place.

Jim: We’re gonna go a little deeper with each of these. So, for people going, “Oh, I wanna hear about that,” we will in a minute, so hang on. Uh, habit four is how you, in the day with your spouse, other than I love you, call it the two within 20.

Dr. Schroeder: Yes, sir. It’s spending two minutes together within the first 20 minutes that the last spouse arrives home after work or whatever. Uh, and so, it doesn’t have… Some spouses like to unwind. They like to go change their clothes, check the mail, do that. So, it doesn’t have to be immediate, but at some point, in those 20 minutes, they need to reconnect emotionally. They need to make that eye-to-eye heart connection. The eyes are the windows to the heart. Couples forget that. When you’re looking each other’s eyes, spend two minutes checking out how the day- day went for both of them, and giving a meaningful hug and kiss. Uh, that is a daily essential habit is to give a 10-second hug, 10-second kiss every day. Uh, a meaningful hug and kiss in those minutes within the first 20 minutes.

Jim: That seems pretty reasonably, two minutes (laughs), I mean, if you-

Dr. Schroeder: Yes, sir.

Jim: … have to invest in your marriage.

Dr. Schroeder: Yes, sir.

Jim: So- but I’m guilty. I don’t do that every day. I do it some days and probably need to do it more days. And so, (laughs) I like this. It’s a good reminder.

Dr. Schroeder: You- you- you and I are alike. All- all spouses are imperfect. Even though I’m a marriage expert, I don’t do it perfectly either.

Jim: Isn’t that the truth? Complimenting your spouse is powerful. I think we know that. Sometimes, you know, I think we get a little wounded so we pull back on that, I would say. It doesn’t have to be a severe wound, but maybe just a- a little nick and then we don’t wanna compliment you for the next 24 hours (laughs). Not that I’ve given a lot of thought to this-

Dr. Schroeder: So, [inaudible].

Jim: … (laughs) but I- I guess many couples kind of lose that art, if I could call it that. What causes couples to stop appreciating one another?

Dr. Schroeder: It- it is that complacency and just they stop being a good finder. You know, they say-

Jim: A good finder?

Dr. Schroeder: Yes, sir. They’re not- they’re not good finders. They, uh… It’s too easy to slip due to our sinful nature and become fault finders. And so, couples need to complement each other every single day, and I think it’s good. I always define gratitude as saying, “Thank you.” It’s good to say, uh, be healthier, I would say, to say, “I appreciate.” That lifts the spouse up and that is praise. Praise creates positive energy in a marriage, and it’s interesting to me. Every counseling session, I’ve done thousands and thousands of counseling sessions with couples. Every session I begin with a couple, I have them appreciate each other. And it’s amazing to me how difficult that is for spouses. Now, I’m seeing troubled marriages-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Schroeder: … are marriages that are struggling and wanna get stronger, yet for a husband to tell his wife, “I appreciate,” and then I ask the wife, “Will you please always say, ‘Thank you for the compliment’? And then husband, will you please say, ‘You’re welcome,’ after you get a compliment?” And that- those three, uh, niceties are tough. It just doesn’t happen it’s just unbelievable. Yeah, go ahead, Jim.

Jim: I was just gonna say, let us hear a compliment. Give us an example of how you would do that yourself in your own marriage.

Dr. Schroeder: I- I appreciate you stopping at the grocery store and picking up a gallon of milk. And thank you for the compliment. You’re welcome.

Jim: (laughs).

Dr. Schroeder: Uh, and- and we need to go overboard on politeness. Every troubled marriage-

Jim: That’s common sense.

Dr. Schroeder: … politeness is missing. And so, going overboard on politeness and complimenting it. It needs to be a compliment, and I think it’s extremely healthy to use the words, “I appreciate.” Uh, you two men mentioned that you exercise to stay healthy, and a lot of people take vitamins to stay healthy. Well, marriages need the appreciation vitamin to stay relationally healthy. It’s- it’s an essential.

Jim: Yeah, that is terrific. Uh, tell us about your even/odd rule. What is that? This is another practical one.

Dr. Schroeder: That is a biggie. I- I see so many marriages that one spouse says, “My spouse is complaining about all our life issues.” Every person on the face of this earth has different issues going on. Now, it could be something like the brakes on the car need to be changed, okay. And who’s gonna take the car to the shop to get the brakes changed. But couples can have, uh, 50% of their life positive by not talking about problems on even dates. When I think of the word even, I think of smooth, calm, tranquil. And so, on even dates, they avoid problem talk, because some spouses have the tendency just to complain about everything every day. So, there can be no complaints. You know, it just has to be positive. And then on the odd dates, couples can talk about and kind of complain about work and complain about life issues, and it’s… They should only last for 30 minutes, at the most an hour. So, the rest of the evening together is positive. It’s coffee, casual conversation. When I see, and I unfortunately have seen, uh, numerous cases of adultery, uh, the betrayed spouse wants to talk about the affair every day. And rather than help the marriage get on the road to healing… And I helped, uh, numerous marriages get over affairs and have successful, happy marriage. They just don’t wanna talk about that adultery every day. They do it every other day on the odd dates.

John: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Dalyand our guest today is Dr. Randy Schroeder, uh, offering very, uh, biblical insights in his book, Simple Habits for Marital Happiness. Uh, we do recommend you get a copy of this book. As Jim said earlier, it’s a counseling session all contained in a book. Uh, it’d really be beneficial to you.

Jim: Multiple. Multiple sessions.

Dr. Schroeder: (laughs).

John: It’d be really beneficial to you and/or somebody you know, so get a copy of it from us here at Focus on the Family. Stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Randy, that odd or even, what jumped in my mind is Jean and I are in the airport and I, you know, she accidentally drops the suitcase on my toe. And I-

Dr. Schroeder: (laughs).

Jim: … got to first think, “Okay, this is an even day. Oh, love, why would you have dropped that-

Dr. Schroeder: (laughs).

Jim: … on my toe?” And if it’s an odd day, “What are you doing, dropping that on my toe?”

Dr. Schroeder: (laughs) Now, we always have to watch our tone of voice and body language, Jim.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah, okay. But- but you’re correct that- that- that that even odd guideline is not a rigid rule.

Jim: Okay.

Dr. Schroeder: You know, if something big comes up, you know-

Jim: Right.

Dr. Schroeder: … you, you know, but it does help couples have 50% of their life positive.

Jim: No, it’s good. It’s good. And it’s good to remember to be practical. But I love that. At least it contains that negative emotion. Let’s move in that direction, cover habits that we need to avoid. Uh, let’s start with a hard one, which is sarcasm. I mean, it- it kind of goes to my- my personality (laughs).

John: Guilty.

Jim: Yeah, you too?

John: Yes.

Jim: Okay. So, okay, you got two clients here.

Dr. Schroeder: (laughs).

Jim: Here we go.

Dr. Schroeder: I like your sense of humor.

Jim: Okay.

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah. We- we, uh, all can be sarcastic, uh, and yet sadly 90% of our sarcasm is usually negative. Uh, and so, the Greek word for sarcasm is tearing a flesh.

Jim: Can you give- give us an example in a counseling session that you remember where… Let’s work with husbands. I mean, the husbands seem to ve- be very good at sarcasm. What does it sound like? Just so people catch it.

Dr. Schroeder: Well, uh, just, “You cook all the time.” And she really didn’t cook all the time, so it’s kind of hidden anger. I’m gonna jab you and then I’ll say, “Well, I’m just teasing. You know-

Jim: Right.

Dr. Schroeder: … I didn’t really mean it.” And that’s what happens with sarcasm. It devalues the spouse, it puts them down, and then the other spouse would say, “Well, you just can’t take a joke.”

Jim: It kind of is- is deflating to the other person-

Dr. Schroeder: Oh, yes, it is.

Jim: … if you deal with humor.

Dr. Schroeder: It is.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Schroeder: And- and- and I- I saw a couple had a son who had very low self-worth, lack motivation, struggling in school, uh, struggling making friendships. And often when I… Probably 100% of the time, when I counsel, uh, children, I ask parents, “Are you sarcastic with your kids?” And, uh, and almost, uh, 100% of the time, they say yes. And I say, “From this day forward, never ever be sarcastic with your kids again, and never be sarcastic with yourselves in your marriage.” In fact, they were struggling in their marriage. They had a troubled relationship. And I remember they’re saying, “Well, Dr. Schroeder we won’t be sarcastic with our sons since you asked for that, but that’s the way we relate to each other. We kind of jab each other.” And I say, “Well, will you please not do that?” Well, they stopped their sarcasm with their son, and what happened? He became motivated, developed self-confidence, did better at school, and just turned it around just from… There were other ideas as well that I gave them, parenting… Simple yet very effective habits. But they continued to do that in their marriage relationship, and did their marriage and rela- relationship continue to struggle? Yes, it did.

Jim: Interesting. So they didn’t apply it?

Dr. Schroeder: They didn’t give up the sarcasm. No, they didn’t apply it to themselves in their marriage.

Jim: I think Jean really helped me one time. This is a long ti- a long time ago in our marriage, but, you know, I- I could throw the funny dig.

Dr. Schroeder: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And, uh, I just remember her saying to me, “You know, that really doesn’t help me.” And it- it stuck with me. You know, like, I thought it was funny. And I don’t think, particularly for guys, I don’t think a lot of guys know that it hurts.

Dr. Schroeder: Yes sir.

Jim: I mean, it sounds bizarre that we wouldn’t realize that, but we thought, “That was a 10 on the laugh meter.” Right?

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah.

Jim: And we think that’s the achievement. And then when your wife pulls you aside and says, “Please don’t do that in public. It really demeans me.” You go-

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah.

Jim: … “What? I didn’t mean- I didn’t mean to do that.”

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah. You know, it can- it can be. It’s an emotional slap, kind of an emotional whack to a, uh, a spouse. Now, can there be healthy sarcasm? Sure, 10% of the time. But most of the time, the three of us and everyone needs to just watch out with that sarcasm because it can really destroy a relationship.

Jim: Or put it on yourself. It’s always a good way to do it.

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah.

Jim: Point the sarcasm at your own actions.

Dr. Schroeder: Exactly.

Jim: Uh, the Bible discusses leaving and cleaving. Man, are we concentrating on that one nowadays? You know, Jesus never talked about, uh, you know, other forms of marriage. Oh, he said, you know, a man will leave his mother and father, and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. You know, oftentimes, uh, in-laws can play a role in the relationship. So, what’s the difference between a, you know, a healthy, close relationship that is normal and then that overly attached person to their parents and the husband or wife will say, “Man, that’s a little odd, that over attachment.”

Dr. Schroeder: And- and that’s- that’s a great question and, uh, I- I always say, uh, without a healthy leaving, emotionally and physically, a lot of adult and children wanna live within one minute of their parents. Uh, it’s hard to have a healthy cleaving to one spouse, a- and so that leaving and cleaving is absolutely essential. And what I have found is that it’s kind of a have to. If an adult child says, “I have to talk to my mom today. I have to talk to my dad today,” and is not just once, it’s three, four, five, six, seven, 10 times a day… I mean, I’ve seen marriages with, uh, individuals in their 50s, been married over 25 years and they feel like they need to see their mom or their dad, uh, every single day or talk to them. I remember I had a couple drove two hours to come see me for marriage counseling because they had heard how many couples, I helped achieve a satisfying, successful marriage, and one of the things I noted is that she was overly attached to her mom. And I said, “I think it’s good you and your mom have a loving relationship. What would you think about maybe just, uh, contacting your mom once in the morning, once in the afternoon?” And- and, uh-

Jim: Versus what? What would she-

Dr. Schroeder: Versus about 10.

Jim: Wow.

Dr. Schroeder: And- and- and I remember-

Jim: Sorry (laughs).

Dr. Schroeder: … she- she said- she said, “Dr. Schroeder,” she said, “I don’t think that’s biblical.” And she’s said, “I wanna, you know, talk to my mom over and over and over throughout the day.” In fact, every night after dinner, the first thing she did was contact her mom rather than sit down and talk to her husband. Uh, and of course, they never came back to see me because she thought I was full of baloney, and yet that was what was hurting their marriage is because she was… She didn’t have a mom; she had a mommy. And I’ve had a lot… And so, she needed to break that umbilical cord, that emotional umbilical cord and cleave to her husband.

Jim: What, and then… I mean, the cascading effect to something like that is the husband finds news, weather, and sports, and he just lives there and she’s on the phone and-

Dr. Schroeder: And sadly, what I have also seen, not just news, weather, and sports, another person-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Schroeder: … that has an affair with another woman.

Jim: Yeah. Right. So, th- those are the- the rail. And, you know, not to say that- that that is the woman’s fault that a man would act that way. We want to clarify that.

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah. No, never make excuses for sinful behaviors. Sin is sin.

Jim: Right. So, I wanna make sure we say that.

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: Um, under that avoiding the bad habits banner, you know, we got this new thing, relative new thing called technology. And, uh, you have to manage that in your marital relationship, because you can… Boy, when Jean and I got to dinner, we look across the restaurant different couples and they both got their phones out. They’re not really talking to each other. They’re just looking at their phones. So, what are some good h- habits in the technology area and what are the bad habits to avoid?

Dr. Schroeder: Great question. And I think, uh, couples need to do what I call quiet connects. And I actually have that in Simple Habits for Marital Happiness, and I got that from a couple, uh, that I saw in counseling. They, uh, several years ago, quite a few years ago, we had the power go out in almost our whole town, and, uh, this couple that I was counseling said what they did when the power went out, it was, uh, late in the afternoon, is they lit candles and sat in the living room and they talked for several hours about their fun memories of when they were dating, about some of the fund things they did on various vacations, about what vacations they wanna do in the future. And- and after doing that, they came in and they said, “Dr. Schroeder, we’re going to do that once a week. Have no technology, cellphone in the other room, tablets in the other room, TV off, and we’re just gonna sit there and look in each other’s eyes and talk about fun things that happened during the day and fun things we’re looking forward to doing, and just have coffee, casual conversation.” And so from that, I started suggesting to all couples, let’s have quiet connects. And I think we can do that also in the car. You know, rather than listen to music or listen to a podcast and not talk to one another, my wife and I turn the radio off, and I suggest to all couples, turn the radio off and talk to each other. Now, you can’t look each other in the eyes, but you can still emotionally connect through that, uh, building up conversation.

Jim: Yeah, relationship.

Dr. Schroeder: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Jim: (laughs).

John: Yeah.

Jim: Randy, let’s cover a couple of other elements right at the end here. Memory matching, I find that to be kind of interesting. Uh, what do you caution couples about me-…? What is it and how do you caution couples with it?

Dr. Schroeder: Well, I- I say avoid the two M words. And so, one, like, you said, Jim, is memory matching. Our memories are always excellent and always the truth from our perspective.

Jim: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Dr. Schroeder: And so what- what… I- I’ve seen it over and over, heard a lot of marriage relationships, and I’m forever saying it when I counsel couples is couples will say, “This is what you said.” “No, this is what you said.” “No, this is what you said.”

Jim: It’s kind of a contest.

Dr. Schroeder: Yeah. It’s a contest, you know. And- and when couples learn to say, “We’re not gonna memory match. Our memories are excellent from our perspective. We’re just gonna adopt the phrase no memory matching.” Second, you- you wanna avoid mind reading. Uh, like I mentioned earlier, I’ve known my wife almost a half a century. You know, we know each other pretty well, but if we read each other’s minds and we’re right, that can be kind of annoying. And so-

Jim: (laughs).

Dr. Schroeder: … and so- and so it’s better to ask, “What are you thinking?” Okay.

Jim: But you’re still right (laughs).

Dr. Schroeder: (laughs).

Jim: That’s funny.

Dr. Schroeder: It- it- it- it can just lead to heartache. And- and the other thing, uh, we can be wrong. And that can really be frustrating if we thought we had our spouse’s mind read and it was wrong. I saw a- a couple whose husband was on a- a business trip, and his wife went through a distressing event back home. She called him up, uh, he was compassionate, did a terrific job. I asked him what he did. He listened, he was empathetic, sympathetic, and he asked his wife, he said, “Do you want me to cancel the business meetings right now and drive home? I’ll do it.” And she said no. She said, “I have the supportive of the family.” She said, “You can just stay and- and then come home when your business meetings are done.” When he got home, she had taken out a six-month lease on an apartment and moved out of the house. And even though she did not ask him to come home, she said, “You should’ve read my mind that I really wanted you to come home.”

John: Oh.

Jim: Wow.

Dr. Schroeder: And he came to three sessions by himself, and I talked about the importance of expectations, making your expectations known. She thought the idea of expectations was dumb. She said, “I should not have to make my expectations known.” And I’ve seen the other spouses have said that too. “If we’re close, you should read my mind.”

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Schroeder: And that is mind reading is a no-no.

Jim: Randy, this has been so good. Uh, and again, I could see how, you know, you have packed so much into the book, uh, and really has a goal of taking everything you’ve learned in your counseling sessions and with great examples. You know, some tough ones from couples that were struggling, but laying them in there so we could read them and see how to not repeat those mistakes. Uh, what a wonderful book, Simple Habits for Marital Happiness. And, you know, one way to start that assessment is to come to Focus on the Family’s website. John will give those details in a minute. But we have a wonderful marriage assessment there. I think we’ve had over a million people take it, and, uh, it just takes six, seven minutes to go through the assessment. It’ll tell you what you’re doing really well and some areas you need to work on. And in addition to that, obviously, covering the material today, uh, Randy’s great book, we can make that available to you. Um, if you can make a gift of any amount, we’ll say thank you by sending you a copy of Randy’s book. If you could do that monthly, that’s great. A one-time gift is fine. If you can’t afford it, we want to get it into your hands. We’re a Christian ministry. We’re gonna trust there will be other people recognizing that and helping us, help you by supporting the ministry. So, whatever your situation, we wanna get this great resource into your hands.

John: Yeah. Contribute generously as you can to the work of Focus on the Family, and we’ll say thanks for being a part of the support team by sending the book, Simple Habits for Marital Happiness. Uh, you can donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459.

Jim: Randy, thanks again for being with us. Always good to have you here.

Dr. Schroeder: Thanks for having me back and I pray that couples will have stronger relationship.

John: And on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we continue the conversation and, once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

 

Today's Guests

simple habits for marital success book cover

Simple Habits for Marital Happiness: Practical Skills and Tools That Build a Strong Satisfying Relationship

Receive the book Simple Habits for Marital Happiness and the audio download of the broadcast "Forming New Habits For Your Marriage" for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

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Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

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Dr. Kevin Leman

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Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

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Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

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Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you!