The Problem with Having a Hot Wife

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Marriage is fraught with difficulties, requiring adjustments on both parts that can take careful planning and accommodation. Much of my work is helping good people to not become overwhelmed with discouragement when they learn to work within some of their inherent incompatibilities.

Ruth and I had been married three months when it became clear that we had problems.

Growing up I always preferred to sleep with the windows open and with minimal blankets. Each night—even in the middle of our east Idaho ...

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Great Dates for Empty Nesters

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It can be very difficult to step back and support adult children in leaving the nest to become independent and to begin creating their own families. It is particularly difficult if one is not deeply connected with, and attached to, one’s own marriage partner. After all, they have spent almost their entire adult lives focusing on meeting the needs of children to this point. Sometimes it can be a bit frightening to consider life where those children are not at ...

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How to Build a Picket Fence

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I am embarrassed to say that this week’s column almost didn’t make it. Brian, my good friend and partner in crime building electric guitars, invited me to work in his shop during the time I usually write the column, and I go so excited I entirely forgot about it. Greg Little, Editor of the Standard Journal, was kind enough to remind me and let me sneak it under the wire. Thanks, Greg. I owe you one!

Today I offer you some ...

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Good Fences Make Good…Family

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“Good fences make good neighbors.”

I was a teenager and had no idea what Dad was talking about, so he explained:

There are plenty of opportunities for neighbors, even very good people, to get into conflict with one another. Well-built, well-maintained fences help to reduce many of those conflicts by keeping our business (pets, livestock, children, etc.) on our side of the fence and their business on their side.

While I didn’t necessarily appreciate that wisdom at that time, 27 years of counseling ...

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Passings, Passages and the Empty Nest

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This past weekend was a rather emotional one. Valentine’s Day was the 30th anniversary of our engagement to be married. The following day two beloved members of our household passed away.

Over 18 years ago I returned from work to find a long-haired, black and white kitten at our house. Ruth had been approached by children pulling a wagon full of kitties at five-year Tyler’s soccer practice. Needless to say this one came home and was aptly named Oreo.

Oreo’s beautiful long ...

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How Do I Love Thee?

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Several years ago I was surprised in an interview with a church leader when he asked me, “How do you love your wife?”

I am embarrassed to say that my mind immediately reached for Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. You know the poem: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach…”

Then I occurred to me: He may not be asking me how much—but what ...

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Marriage Lessons from An Unlikely Source

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It has often been said that a wise man learns from his mistakes. It could be stated that a really wise man learns from the mistakes—and successes—of others.

Cohabitation (couples living together without being married) is on the rise. According to one recent study about one-half of U.S .college graduates and three-fourths of non-college grads cohabit prior to marriage. The rate has doubled in a generation.

Though this living arrangement is now considered “normal”, cohabiting couples usually do not end up marrying, ...

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Life in the Blender

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One-third of Utah marriages include children from a former marriage or relationship, according to a recent report. That means that one-third of that state’s new families are “blended families”. While I don’t know the statistics for our own state and area I dare say it is likely not much different.

There are many terms for families in which members from different family units come together to form a new or additional family structure, whether by remarriage, adoption, cohabitation, or other means. ...

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High-Fidelity Marriage

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Over the weekend I dropped of a stereo system—turn-table, tuner-receiver, and speakers—at Deseret Industries for a friend. As we unloaded it from the back of the truck one employee said to the other, “Wow, check out the ‘hi-fi’!”

It had been years since I had heard the term “hi-fi”—short for “high-fidelity”, referring to high-quality reproduction of sound and the equipment that provides it. As a teen that was the ideal, to own equipment that played music so true to the artist’s ...

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Home Alone…As a Couple

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Some time ago my son, Tyler, introduced me to “Honest Trailers” on YouTube, silly reviews of popular films. Last night I saw the clip for the 1990 Christmas comedy “Home Alone” and it hit me—this week Tyler will move out, and Ruth and I will be “home alone” without children for the first time in 29 years.

Couples are most susceptible to divorce in the first two-to-five years of marriage, as children enter the picture and begin to change the shape ...

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