Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Sex Gone Wild

The fifth is distorting sex. We think of sex as duty or as dirty and use it as a reward or as a punishment. We expect a perfect sexual response, or become inconsiderate and crude with one another and never share tenderness or emotional intimacy without intercourse.

These five negative patterns are signs of erosion […]

Marriage Gone Wild

The fourth is to allow our imagination to run wild resulting in creative jealousy. We build mountains out of molehills or take what may be a small issue and magnify it out of proportion. We allow our imaginations to go unchecked and to come up with wild, unfounded situations. We don’t allow our partner to […]

Making Problem Solving a Problem

The third is to make a problem out of problem solving. We pick the most inconvenient times possible to discuss problems or bring up an issue which has made us angry when we’re sure our partner doesn’t have time to respond. We overload the conversation with more than one issue until the initial conflict gets […]

Hindering Marital Communication

The second is to hinder communication. Instead of asking how our partner feels about something we try to read their mind. We become masters at negatively interpreting what our spouse is saying. We learn to overreact, raise our voice and volume as we escalate. We tend to criticize our spouse, create defensiveness and turn the […]

Expecting the Impossible in Marriage

The first is to expect the impossible. We expect our partner to like everything that we like, like every person we like, and enjoy all the same activities we enjoy. We expect that we will never again feel lonely now that we are married. We expect our spouse to always understand our feelings and moods. […]

Erosion in Marriage

It seems like everything these days is being blamed on El Nino or La Nina. I heard the other day that a couple was blaming their marriage problems on the frequent storms hitting California. Their real relational problems were not revealed, but it seemed that the erosion of their marriage didn’t just happen overnight. Undoubtedly, […]

Only Seeing What We Want to See in Our Partner

The third filter is Beliefs and Expectations. We may believe that someone means to hurt us if they raise their voice or we may have a belief that silence during an argument means the other person does not care. Many times the partner who is persistent in seeking to resolve disagreements is viewed as “nagging” […]

Marriage and the Moody Blues

The second filter is Emotional States and Reactions. What mood are you in right now? It will affect how well you are paying attention to what you are reading. When we are tired we are not at our best and our listening and communication skills may not be as sharp as when we are more […]

Clean Mental Filters Help us Pay Attention in Marriage

I know when it is time to change our furnace filter. I begin to sneeze when the heat comes on. We are told to change these filters every month or so, but I confess that I get busy and forget. Likewise, the automotive industry recommends we change the oil filter in our car every three […]

Forgiveness: The Forgotten Solvent in Marriage

By Daniel W. Trathen, D. Min. Ph. D.

One of the most revealing aspects about the quality of a couples relationship to God is the way they react and respond to each others hurt, wrong behavior and attitudes. Each can carry anger, seek revenge, or complain and carry a grudge. However, the more a person […]