Conflict and Marital "Affairs"

Conflict is inevitable in any close relationship, but there is cause for concern when reoccurring issues foster conflict in marriages. If not addressed, recurring conflicts caused by marital “affairs,” will lead to a decrease in emotional connection, trust and intimacy. Listen to this episode to learn strategies that will help you protect your marriage.


Transcript

Chris Grace:

Let me welcome you to another Art of Relationships Podcast. We are coming to you from Biola University and a Center for Marriage and Relationships here. In fact if you wanted to go see a little bit more about us you can go to cmr.biola.edu. I’m here with Dr. Tim Muehlhoff. I’m Chris Grace.

 

Tim, talking about the art of relationships, one of the things that happens is in most relationships there is going to be a single common theme that every relationship and every marriage has and that’s conflict. You cannot avoid it. I remember someone talking recently about wanting to feel compatible with someone and they were waiting to find their soul mate. They were saying things like, “You know, once I find my soul mate I will have compatibility. I’ll be complete. We won’t argue.” If you look at compatibility I think what they were thinking was, “Oh, that means there’s a lack of problems, and a lack of arguments, a lack of conflict, things go together.” You want to say to people, “Dear Lord, every relationship has conflict. It’s endemic. You’re not going to avoid this.” Let’s talk about this.

Tim Muehlhoff:

In [inaudible 00:01:14] we call it, “The inevitability of conflict.” Conflict is going to hit a family, it’s going to hit organizations, it’s going to hit a marriage even the best of marriages. At the FamilyLife marriage conferences we speak at, we have couples turn to each other and we have them say to the person next to them, “Hey, we fight too.” It gets a huge laugh from the audience because it’s true. Even the best of marriages, there’s going to be conflict, differences of opinion. That’s actually a good thing, not a bad thing.

Chris Grace:

I think it’s a good thing as well because from what I’m thinking why it’s good is it simply shows that you are an individual who was created and designed with certain specialties, needs, personality traits, desires and interests and so was the other person. When he says the 2 shall become 1, a lot of people go, “Well, which one?” [Crosstalk 00:02:04] not going to be which one. There’s 2 people here, yet, that third entity is the powerful way in which God brings together 2 different people that are different. It’s a very special unique bond in a relationship that we share with somebody, but it’s inherent that we’re going to experience differences in what we like and what we dislike.

Tim Muehlhoff:

A name that is familiar now to our listeners is John Gottman. John Gottman is one of the top marital researchers in the United States. Everybody uses his material, his data.  Gottman says this … It always struck me when he said, “Show me a couple that argues and I can save the marriage. Show me a couple that no longer argues, they no longer care enough about the marriage to argue, I might not be able to save that marriage.” He called that stonewalling. Remember we’ve talked about that before. Why don’t you explain to the listeners what stonewalling is.

Chris Grace:

Stonewalling is when during times of conflict each of us have different reactions. Some of us kind of process out loud and we want to talk about the disagreement or the conflict and get it out on the table, others are a little bit slower, doing some internal processing. There is also a category of people who feel like when they’re in conflict it’s as if they’re being attacked or they perceive it physiologically as a critical, powerful, almost overwhelming sensation. To protect themselves they just simply begin to withdraw, build stonewalls. That’s the kind of idea behind this.

Tim Muehlhoff:

I often say to my students when I’m talking about stonewalling, “The opposite of love is not hate.” Hate is a very powerful reaction. The opposite of love is indifference. I can’t even get a reaction out of you. You’re not even going to invest enough emotionally to have this argument because you’ve checked out of the relationship either emotionally, psychologically, or even physically, you just literally leave the room when we start to have this disagreement. Gottman would say, “Boy that right there.” I can handle hate because I can actually work with people who would say, “I care enough about you that actually dislike you right now,” but if you tell me, “Yeah, I’m indifferent towards this person,” man that can be trouble.

Chris Grace:

Tim, I think what happens is it can be very devastating for the other person when someone withdraws. Even just simply being ambivalent, or not caring, or even unaware, that causes people to react very negatively. We show it in a video where we have a mom or a dad interacting with a newborn or a baby that they’re used to engaging with, and they kind of give them this unaware, or this ambivalent, or what we call a “still face.” Infants as young as 1 and even earlier begin to react very negatively to that parent that shows no emotional reaction to them. They start seeking out, crying out literally for … “Come back. Engage with me.” It’s the same thing it happens through our lives.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Couples do that. I’m used to you engaging me and now for whatever reason you no longer engage me, we’re just like that child in the still face experiment, start screeching, reaching out to that mother, yelling because I will get a reaction from you. Nothing is more frustrating than being in a disagreement and feeling like I’m the only one investing emotion at this point. I’m the only one investing anything into this disagreement. You’ve checked out. You’re not there anymore.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, and that checking out, I think Tim, what happens is we find that what it says to the other person is not just my silence that I’m overwhelmed … If it just told the other person, “Okay listen, I’m physiologically overwhelmed right now. I can’t process this. I’m building stonewalls,” then the other person might at least be able to accept that, but what happens is I think it communicates that, “I don’t like you. You are not important to me. I don’t want to be anywhere near you.” That hidden message that becomes so devastating for the person is, “You don’t matter to me anymore.” That dislike is powerfully and negatively interpreted. That’s what conflict is about, is recognizing some of these deeper subtext we call them or hidden issues that are going on during times of conflict that we communicate to each other.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Chris, you and I have been speaking at these marriage conferences forever. You and Alisa have been speaking at marriage conferences for how long?

Chris Grace:

Almost 25 years. I think, eventually, this next year … We were married only 4 years one of the first time we did it. I’m not sure what we said. I hope there’s no tape of it. Yeah, close to 25 years.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That’s amazing. You’ve been speaking at marriage conferences as long as Noreen and I have been married. Think about that. We’ve been speaking for 20 years with FamilyLife Ministries, Dennis Rainey’s organization. We’d thought it’d be fun to tackle this topic of conflict periodically. We think it certainly warrants more than just one quick episode. We thought we would do it this way. Based on 25 years of speaking at marriage conferences, and 20 speaking at marriage conferences on our end what are the reoccurring things that foster conflict that we see over and over and over again at these marriage conferences? Do you have one? Do you want me to go first? What do you think?

Chris Grace:

[Crosstalk 00:07:21].

Tim Muehlhoff:

Okay, here’s mine. After 20 years speaking at marriage conferences number 1 on my list, marital affairs.

Chris Grace:

Interesting.

Tim Muehlhoff:

You might be thinking, “What? Most of the couples that go your conference are having marital affairs? You’d put that number 1?” Notice we need to define what we mean by an affair. Immediately most of the listeners probably thought, “Well, you mean romantic affairs with another person.” No, no, no. I would define an affair as anything that you derive your significance from outside the marriage. Let me say what I think is the number 1 affair that’s causing the most conflict in marriage is. Ready?

Chris Grace:

Yup.

Tim Muehlhoff:

A family affair. The family is where you’re getting all of your happiness, you’re deriving of your meaning, and all of your time, energy goes into raising the kids, and it no longer goes towards your spouse. Really you’re doing a family business, and the business between you and your spouse is raising the kids. Once the kids get grown then couples look at each other and say, “Man, I don’t love you anymore. We haven’t invested in this marriage for years.” In a weird way our desire to be really, really, really good parents, I think is causing a lot of conflict and neglect in marriages, where they’re not taking time and energy to work on their relationship.

Chris Grace:

It’s interesting, Tim, that you call it this affair of the heart, this affair of our attention, a family for whatever it is that pulls people away. I think our biggest non-reaction at marriage conferences is when we tell people, “In order to avoid some of these things right here, you need to be sure and have a weekly date night.” Guess what? Especially when you’re talking to young couples, they look at you like, “You have got to be kidding me. A weekly date night that I invest in a week.” I think there’s probably less than 20% of the couples out there who have a weekly day, and which we tell them, “Listen, one of the reasons and purposes is not to go out. You don’t have to have a huge elaborate date, that spends all this money at a very expensive restaurant. You could go to a buy one get one free fast food place, sit there and talk, have just a couple of hours to be together as a couple.

 

You’d be surprised how many people don’t do it. They have all kinds of reasons and excuses; too many jobs, or too busy, the kids are too busy, we don’t have babysitting, it’s too expensive, and on. I really think, Tim, it’s a possible path towards losing connection with each other if you don’t invest and you don’t have that. It doesn’t have to be weekly. It can be every other week. At least once a month even go out and invest in this relationship and hang out with the person, get to know. Otherwise, 20 years later, those kids are grown. You’re not going to know them.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Chris, 2 quick thoughts about that. 1, that date doesn’t even need to be outside the house. I remember when our kids were really young, we would send them upstairs, turn a video, set them down in front of Barney … God bless that purple babysitter … Just for a half hour, an hour, and say, “Kids, do come downstairs unless you’ve seen Jesus physically. Do not come down. Mom and I just need to have a cup of coffee and we just need to talk and connect.”

 

I share a statistic at FamilyLife conferences that people don’t believe is true. I say this, “[inaudible 00:10:48] will say that the average couple has 2 to 3 minutes of interpersonal communication a day. They counter and say, “No, no that’s not true. I know I talk to my spouse more than that.” Sure, but it’s organizational communication, which is, “Hey, don’t forget Tommy’s got taekwondo practice, don’t forget that Karen’s got ballet practice, don’t forget … “That’s all organizational. I’m talking interpersonal, just you and your spouse and you’re talking about deep things. Most couples 2 to 3 minutes max per day.

Chris Grace:

Then you got to wonder how much time during even a 2 to 3 minutes are they actually paying attention to each other if they’re distracted by a cell phone, a computer screen, kids. Your own internal worries and thoughts, you have to turn those off to be able to pay attention to someone, and so that 2 to 3 minutes is probably not even good quality time for many couples.

Tim Muehlhoff:

You’re right, this daily … Weekly … Just intentionality … By the way the kids need to see that. The kids need to see that, "Hey, listen mom is more important.” My relationship with my spouse is more important. We call that “derived authority” that we’re saying to the kids, “You’re more important than the marriage.” I think we live that out most days, because it’s like, “Hey, mom and I aren’t getting time together because we’re taking you all over the city with different practices and events, stuff like that.” Weekends are a nightmare. We have 3 kids who play sports. Weekends were a nightmare. We’re off in 2 different directions, 2 different teams, 2 different finals of a basketball tournament kind of thing, and it just starts to take a toll on …

 

I think of Al and Tipper Gore ... Remember, after 40 years of marriage … When she was interviewed she basically said, “You know, early on it was about the kids, then it was about politics, and when that all went away we just didn’t have a relationship anymore.” They divorced after 40 years of marriage.

Chris Grace:

What do you tell couples or people who are in a relationship in which this is becoming an issue? They’re not finding that time. They’re not finding good quality time. What’s your suggestion? What can they do to turn this around? We talked about a date night. We talked about just finding and carving out time. Really it could be finding 10 minutes to connect at some point in which it’s good time to just listen, engage, and ask how your day went. Maybe it’s about being curious. What else?

Tim Muehlhoff:

Chris, I think to start small for crazy busy couples. I remember when we first got married, the guy who did our premarital counseling, he said something I thought was really interesting. He said, “Hey, for the first year get into the habit of going to bed at the same time.” When you do that there’s just that connection moment where you crawl into bed together, but boy how quickly that goes away. Noreen's tired, I’ve got some work to do, and now seldom we do go to bed at the same time. I like having those rhythms of saying, “Hey, once a week, twice a week, we’re going to go to bed at the same time, we’re going to pray lying in bed and we’re going to reconnect. It can be a simple half hour coffee date when the kids are upstairs or the kids are out playing. Something that’s in the schedule I think is really important; to say we’re going to do this once a week, once every other week, but we’re going to do it whenever we set this time.

Chris Grace:

I think that was great advice. It’s funny; we had very similar premarital advice from the couple that worked with us. They pointed out a very interesting Old Testament passage kind of a hidden a little gem in there. It’s in Deuteronomy 24:5 and it says, “When a man joins the army, he shall not”-

Tim Muehlhoff:

I think Noreen memorized this, but go ahead.

Chris Grace:

“He shall not go to war, to the Army, for a period of 1 year,” this is a newly married man, “Shall not, if he’s newly married, go to war for a period of 1 year in order to stay home and make his wife happy.” What that meant was, you need, and couple need … What this person challenged us to do is cut out all of the extracurricular that you can. You can’t cut out work. You probably don’t want to cut out going to church. You may not want to cut out a group that you’re involved in, but you need to cut as much extracurricular out of there. If you’re leading something, don’t lead it, just participate and just attend. Use that time to connect with this person that you are now married to, establish a great foundation that way. I tell you it was great advice. We did that and it just set up a pattern and a habit for us to reconnect on a regular basis. What a great thing.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Chris, I have a friend who’s a Hebrew scholar and he swears to me, swears to me, that in the Hebrew that word “happy” has strong sexual connotations. Again, we could be laughing right now because I believe in the word of God should be interpreted literally according to the original languages. At least he’s talking about a sense of intimacy that is physical, emotional, this connectiveness with this person that you have a 1 flesh relationship with.

Chris Grace:

Let’s transition then to this next form of conflict, which is related to that, and that is when people have an affair that we’ve been talking about with family, that kind of detracts from a person’s relationship with their significant other, with their married partner, another significant one related to that is I believe it and it is related, I believe an emotional or physical affair can oftentimes now take the place of these kinds of needs that people have. If you’re not receiving some of these needs because you are not feeling emotionally satisfied or even physically satisfied in a marriage or relationship we tend to want to seek that out to get that in other places.

 

Another conflict that comes in are people’s disagreement about how they you are relating to members of the opposite sex outside of the marriage. That conflict could come into play in a variety of ways. It’s this notion that … I think what’s interesting about all of this is some of the early research that said, “Men and women differ in the way in which they view affairs.” That is that somebody is being … they would ask, for example, a male and female they would ask them this question, “What would be more damaging to you and more hurtful to you if you heard that your partner, your spouse was having an emotional affair with somebody or they were having a physical affair.” Men and women differ significantly on this. The men would always say, “It would bother me more and I would be more devastated to learn that my spouse was having a physical affair with another person.” Wives were just the opposite. Women tended to say that, “If they had learned that their partner, their husband, or male partner was having an emotional affair, they would find that more devastating than the physical.”

 

Now, both of them are devastating, but I think for some couples conflict comes into play about time. How much time do you spend with another person? How much emotional energy do you give to another person, with a fear that some of this could happen and lead to a person not feeling satisfied in this way?

Tim Muehlhoff:

Picking up off this; again this is antidotal, but we know 3 couples that their marriages have exploded because of Facebook affairs. What happens is, I’m thinking of this one couple … Obviously you see your spouse, your current spouse, you see his or her pluses and minuses, you see the dailyness of it, and you start to sanitize the past. You go in the past and you reconnect with this person from high school, let’s say, or from college days. What’s so funny is you sanitize that person, all of their quirks, all of their negatives and now you’re having this glorified conversation with this person, you’re reconnecting emotionally and you sanitize all of their weaknesses. You’re constantly reminded of your spouse’s weaknesses on a daily basis. We know 3 couples that have divorced because they were having an emotional connectedness with somebody via Facebook.

 

You get it, right Chris. You leave your spouse. You have, let’s say, 2 small kids. Your spouse, you leave her and she’s got on sweats and socks and a T-shirt that has spit up on it. You go to wherever you work and the secretary … When I was doing grad work the teaching assistants, they’re all just schmoozing up to you. Every joke you tell they’re like, “Oh, that’s just so funny.” Then you come back home, your wife is still in the same sweats. She’s missing a sock. She has more spit up. You walk through the door and she goes, “Here, take your child,” and just goes upstairs. You think, “I’d rather be at work. I’d rather be with the people who think I’m funny,” for whatever reason. That’s where I think the emotional affair can start to happen is I’m getting my emotional connectedness outside the marriage.

Chris Grace:

What ends up happening for these couples too is the conflict almost takes on a hidden … I guess you would say, they begin to show up in a variety of ways. They start talking about we’re not emotionally connected anymore. I feel distant. They talk about this lack of trust, this lack of compatibility comes up a little bit, but mostly it’s I just don’t feel connected anymore and I don’t trust them. I just sense that we have gone and grown distant. That oftentimes can be code for something else is going on here where the person is just simply not getting their needs met anymore. They’re not being able to find and get that emotional attachment. I believe that is of one of the causes of some conflict for some couples. Unfortunately, when it hits that stage, this can be a little bit further down the road.

 

That notion that conflict is one of the first reasons, or unmanaged conflict that couples get a divorce, that’s what divorce lawyers will say. If a couple gets divorced within the first 7 years of marriage, they’re almost always going to say, “It was simply too much conflict.” When they stay and last for about 10 years what ends up happening is they then report, “Yeah, there is a lot of conflict, but to be honest, I simply don’t feel close to my spouse anymore.” They’ll say it’s a loss of intimacy. Look, that shows this progression. This lack of ability to understand and recognize some of the deeper things going on when you argue about money, or kids, or finances, or whatever you’re arguing about and then it leads to this unmanaged or overwhelming amount of conflict, which eventually results in this loss of intimacy. People are going to need and respond and want to seek that from someplace else. We tend to see that conflict showing up in a pattern.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Tell me what you think about this. We have a friend of ours who’s a top marriage therapist. He’s been practicing now for 18 years. He said this to me and Noreen. I’ll never forget this. He said, “A woman will leave a marriage for many reasons.” He says, “But a man, in 18 years of marital therapy I’ve never met a man who didn’t leave the marriage, he was going towards a woman. That’s why he left the marriage.” There’s always another woman. He had already connected with this woman emotionally, sometimes physically. He said, “When a man leaves a marriage there’s always somebody in the background.” I said, “Get out of here. In 18 years you’ve never had a man leave a marriage for other reason?” He said, “No. In 18 years if a man leaves the marriage he’s leaving for another woman.” What do you think about that?

Chris Grace:

I don’t think I could dispute it, because I think a lot of evidence is out there, anecdotal and just simply in our own personal experience as well. Both in friends and family and people that we’ve counseled as well we have seen that same pattern. I think the concern, Tim, and tell me what do we do about this, at my marriage conferences whether we’re at some conference center, or at a church, or even at a university putting on these events, or you at FamilyLife nationally at different cities it’s rare that these couples show up at these conferences. When they do they’re not very engaged. They disengage. They don’t seem they want to be there, because they’ve already made the decision.

 

At a recent conference we were at a couple comes and we were surprised to see them there to be honest. As they were talking with us beforehand, you could tell he was a little bit, I guess the best descriptor is disengaged, but we were glad they were there. Now, unfortunately, it turned out that was the very last public event that they ever did. He went as this last ditch effort to say, “Oh listen, I’ll go listen to this conference. I’ll go listen to this person.” Within about 2 weeks after that time he had confessed that, “Listen, you know what, my love for you is no longer there.” They had been married 23 years; they had raised 3 children almost to adulthood. He had just simply had checked … Now, of course it turns out there was somebody else involved. He had probably been involved with this other person for over 5, 6 years and his spouse never knew.

 

I guess I was glad that they were there, but I’m not sure how common it is that they show up at these things. When they do, of course, there’s still potential for help, but this could be a tough sign.

Tim Muehlhoff:

It’s what you said that I had picked up on "last ditch effort." What I’m going to say is probably going to shock you, okay?

Chris Grace:

Right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

I don’t know much about cars. Does that surprise you?

Chris Grace:

No.

Tim Muehlhoff:

No, okay. One time I came home early in the marriage, my wife said to me, “Honey, the van won’t start.” I looked at her and I said, “Bummer.” I’m a theater major. I had mime classes. What do you want me to do? Fix an imaginary van in a wind tunnel? I have no idea how to. Here’s what I said to each one of my boys, “I don’t do anything about cars, but I know 2 things,” Chris, “1, regularly check the oil, and get the oil changed and get your sparks plugs replaced. If you do that the chance of that car running smoothly, greatly increases.”

 

Here’s what I say to couples, “If you go to a marriage conference once every 5 years, once every 10 years, imagine going to a car mechanic saying, ‘Yeah, hey, my car is really acting up [inaudible 00:25:02]. I haven’t changed the oil in about 3 years. These are original spark plugs.” What hit me is when you said that couple waited a last ditch effort. We’re advocating not necessarily a marriage conference, although that’s great, and we certainly do our own conferences called “Going Deeper,” but you can check our website. Read a book on marriage. Pick 1 book a year on marriage and read it together, or have 1 spouse read it and both of them talk about it during those date nights you’re talking about.

 

To wait until it’s a last ditch effort, where the car doesn’t even run anymore, there’s little a mechanic can do with it. We’re saying be attentive to your marriage, and tagging on to what we started the podcast with, be attentive to your marriage and don’t let all of your time, attention and energy go towards the kids.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, or to something else that is a substation. It might be technology, it might be just time on Facebook. Tim, I think that’s great advice, get couples out there before these issues or problems become systemic, because they start to get built in , this root system starts to develop, that begins to say you’re going to have some deeper issues and problems. Then for couples in which they fear that this has gotten away from them, they fear and they sense that there is maybe some deeper stuff going on, we’re going to encourage, and I know you would as well, we’re going to encourage them that they at this time in situations like that to go talk to someone who’s a professional therapist, or marriage counselor, go to a pastor.

 

Get started that way. Go to somebody who is at least trained in this area. There’s wonderful marriage and family therapists out there who do for a living. This is what they do. They’re driven and designed almost and have the experience and the background to help couples manage and navigate these things. No marriages is unsavable when it comes to just this type of issue. That marriage, in which they’re struggling with is you can make changes. It can be transformed, but it oftentimes is going to take effort. When it gets to be at the point where we’re now talking about an emotional or a physical affair I think that’s when you need to bring in the experts.

Tim Muehlhoff:

I’m so surprised at the Family Life conferences we speak at, couples will at the end of it just come up to us and say, “Ah, this was amazing. It’s the first time in 5 years we’ve gotten away just us.” I hear that all the time and I think, “5 years without getting your spark plug replaced. 5 years on that same oil. No wonder it’s mucking up the engine of the marriage.” Again, let’s not wait 5 year intervals. I love what you said earlier in this podcast, Chris. It doesn’t need to be every week. It can be every other week. Although I am convicted, and you and Alisa have been such great examples to me and Noreen about a date night. I think you have said that you have regularly done a date night for all 25 years of your marriage.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, all 25 years, and for a little bit of time there, especially when the kids were [inaudible 00:28:01] it was almost twice a week. Wednesday we’d drop them off. [Cross talk 00:28:05].

Tim Muehlhoff:

Why do that? I was giving you props and you double up on me now. Twice a week. Noreen and I we took a whole year, every day.

 

It is hard to work it into the … It’s almost like exercise, isn’t it?

Chris Grace:

Yes, that's right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

January 1 comes and you go, “Okay, I’m going to the gym.” You go to the gym and you realize, “I’m massively out of shape.” Let’s not let it get to that point. We’re saying to our listeners it’s never too late, listen to this podcast regularly. Do it as a couple. We purposely made our podcasts short so that people can sit down and listen to it and then have a good conversation. We certainly would recommend getaway, marital conferences. We would recommend going to our website. Just get tools, and books, and even good movie out there about … A good one that has a good perspective of marriage and have a good conversation.

 

By the way, one thing else I would add, is you and I are in a marriage group together.

Chris Grace:

That’s right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That has been so great for us.

Chris Grace:

Every other week.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Seeing how messed up you and Alisa are just encourages me and Noreen saying, “Honey, I’ll take our problems any day of the week.” No, but it’s great to do that, just to hear other people and pray for each other and bear each other’s burdens.

Chris Grace:

It is. For those listeners out there, in which you’ve got a handle on this. You’ve been kind of regularly doing a date night. You feel strong in your relationship, in your marriage. There are maybe areas you want to grow in, but for the most part you’re going well, and there are those you’re burdened for. You’re listening to something like this and you think, “Man I worry about my kid. I worry about my parents. I worry about my neighbors. I worry about these friends at church.” Let me encourage you to go ahead and take … Go our cmr.biola.edu website. Do you know how many events we have listed on there? We put ourselves, at this institution, we put on 3 or 4 marriage conferences or events locally here, but we also list numerous church events that are going on, and places where you can go to a conference. These things are happening all over, conference centers, retreat centers, from Mount Hermon, and [inaudible 00:30:14]. You were just up [crosstalk 00:30:13].

Tim Muehlhoff:

We were just at [inaudible 00:30:16]. Had a phenomenal time at Mount Hermon. Hey, familylife.com. Just go ahead and click on conferences. We have them scattered all throughout the United States, even internationally. Again, the resources are there. We’d love to be a conduit of those resources at the Center for Marriage and Relationships.

Chris Grace:

Give this as a gift to someone. Buy them a weekend away. If you’re a couple that has a heart and an investment in this and you don’t know how to do anything else, just buy them the gift. To get it to this other couple, and let them go. Here’s another one, here’s a real quick little tip, take the kids. Babysit for some couple down the street or this person you say, “Listen, we’re going to take your kids to dinner. You guys go have a date night and be intentional about it.”

Tim Muehlhoff:

That’s good, that’s good.

Chris Grace:

Listen, we’ve enjoyed having you guys here with us on The Art of Relationships podcast. Dr. Tim Muehlhoff, thanks so much for hanging out.

Tim Muehlhoff:

It’s great being here, Chris.

Chris Grace:

I’ll tell you, we’ll catch you next time with the next topic related to the way in which we do relationships. So grateful to have you with us.


The Art of Relationships Podcast

The Art of Relationships podcast, hosted by Dr. Chris Grace and Dr. Tim Muehlhoff, is centered on helping you build healthy relationships and marriages. In this podcast, Chris (director of Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships and professor of psychology at Biola University) and Tim (professor of communication at Biola University and author of I Beg to Differ), weigh in on how to navigate the complexities of relationships in our culture with biblical wisdom and scholarly research. Listen to get practical insights on relationships, dating and marriage that can be applied to all relationships  — family, friends, co-workers and others.

 

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