Even the Small Things Spiral

Even the Small Things Spiral

The way I remember the story is that it began when I said a phrase that had two possible meanings: the meaning I meant and the meaning she heard. Other details, like the specifics of what got said or what got heard, escape me today—probably because of how quickly the...
Family: Sunk at the Sink?

Family: Sunk at the Sink?

We had finished eating dinner together as a family, and we were all busy cleaning up when it happened. It was a classic opportunity for a mountain-out-of-a-molehill marital spat—dirty dishes have a certain way of provoking things, you know? Here’s how it happened: I,...
Fanning the Flames

Fanning the Flames

Think back to the last time you had an argument with your spouse or one of your older children. The argument you’d consider a real humdinger as words flew out of your mouth, sarcasm cut like a knife, and pride oozed out of your pores. Sparks flew everywhere, igniting...
Fighting Fair

Fighting Fair

It’s inevitable that a married couple is going to fight at some point in their relationship. When I use the word “fight,” I’m talking about verbal arguments, not physical encounters. When I hear couples say they never argue, that’s a red flag for me. I think every...
Embrace the Positive

Embrace the Positive

In family life, it’s really easy to point out the flaws of the other people in your house. Part of the reason for this is that the flaws are so easy to see! The fact that home is where people are letting their guard down combined with the sheer amount of time that you...