Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

I’m Dating Someone Even Though I’m Married

February 6, 2014

Our latest guest blogger is Jarrid Wilson, husband, pastor, author, and blogger. He has made a confession that has everyone talking lately. You’ll see why in the post below.

I have a confession to make. I’m dating someone even though I’m married.

She’s an incredible girl. She’s beautiful, smart, cunning, strong, and has an immensely strong faith in God. I love to take her out to dinner, movies, local shows, and always tell her how beautiful she is. I can’t remember the last time I was mad at her for longer than five minutes, and her smile always seems to brighten up my day no matter the circumstances.

Sometimes she will visit me at work unannounced, make me an incredible lunch, or even surprise me with something she personally baked. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be dating someone even though I am married. I encourage you to try it and see what it can do for your life.

Oh! Did I mention the woman I am dating is my wife? What did you expect?

Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean your dating life should end.

I need to continue to date my wife even after I marry her. Pursuing my wife shouldn’t stop just because we both said, “I do.” Way too many times do I see relationships stop growing because people stop taking the initiative to pursue one another.

Dating is a time where you get to learn about someone in a special and unique way. Why would you want that to ever stop? It shouldn’t. Those butterflies you got on the first date shouldn’t stop just because the years have passed. Wake up each day and pursue your spouse as if you are still on your first few dates. You will see a drastic change for the better in your relationship.

When it comes to any relationship, communication and the action of constant pursuit is key. Nobody wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to pursue them whole-heartedly.

I encourage you to date your spouse, pursue them whole-heartedly, and understand that dating shouldn’t end just because you said, “I do.”

Dare ya:

See his website – for additional blogs.

Are You Getting the Love You Want?

June 20, 2012

Re-posted from Your Tango and written by Tammy Nelson, author of  Getting the Sex You Want.

You choose the person you are with for a reason, never by accident. Why do they drive you so crazy?

The bestselling book, “Getting the Love You Want” written by Harville Hendrix, teaches couples a powerful form of healing that Hendrix calls Imago Relationship Therapy. This theory says that we never choose our partner by accident.

Our mate, for good or bad, helps us to heal from our childhood wounds, helps us to grow as a person and if we let them, becomes the one person ideally suited to propel us into adulthood. Attraction to a mate is based on our almost totally unconscious capacity to choose a partner who brings out the parts of us that are the most vulnerable and sensitive, and frankly, those we are the most blind to. The person we choose as a partner is ideally suited to help us find those places within us that need healing.

I can tell you that it is no mistake that we are with the person we have chosen, even though on certain days it can feel like we have made the biggest mistakes of our lives. Our partner helps us to find those places within that need love and tenderness. And we choose the perfect person to help us get that love that we need. We choose our mate because they help us finish off the unfinished business of our childhood. If we can make this person love us in the way we have always needed to be loved, then we imagine that finally, we will feel whole, cherished and adored in the way we have always longed to feel.

As adults, we want to feel like the most important person to that one special person. Sort of like we did when we were children and had that unique, exalted place with a mother. As adults, we assume that our spouse should love us unconditionally, like our mother or father did in the past (or like we wanted them to).

Yet, marriage and committed partnership is not unconditional. There are conditions to marriage. And although we promise to love each other regardless of our foibles and limitations, those frustrations become a power struggle almost from the moment the honeymoon ends.

And yet it is those very frustrations of a serious committed partnership that hold the key to our own growth. The things that your partner finds annoying about you may actually be the things in you that need changing. (I know, this is not what you want to hear. It is so much easier to blame them for their faults) Perhaps your partner sees in you the things that you need to change in order to grow into your highest and most developed self, and in the best of all worlds, in their most loving and gentle way, they place that gift in front of you in order for you to grow as a person.

However, in reality, most of us don’t present the gift well. We yell and scream and with our own frustrations and abandonment fears we demand that our partner change in order for us to be happy. And we all know how well that works.

And yet, we know somewhere deep down, that we chose this person because they hold the key to our emotional and developmental growth. We took on this relationship challenge because they are the perfect person to help us grow into our highest selves. But we still get really mad when they confront us with the truth – that we need to change parts of ourselves in order to grow into who we need to be – because we know somewhere deep down that they are right.  And it is painful and annoying to know that we really do have to change something in ourselves.

You choose the person you are with for a reason, never by accident. Why do they drive you so crazy?

It’s easier to think that they are the problem. Sometimes it’s just easier to fantasize about trading them in for someone else; maybe someone who won’t demand that we change, someone who will accept us for who we are, who will love us unconditionally like our moms and dads did. Ultimately, if we are honest with ourselves, somewhere deep down, we know that this is not the goal of a committed partnership.

Relationships are the key to healing. If we try, we can make each other feel cherished and adored. We can get the love that we want and we can give each other what we need and help each other to grow.

Using some of these basic theories of Imago therapy you can learn how to make your relationship more rewarding and find a new intimacy in your relationship.

But no one ever said it was going to be easy. Growing up never is.

Why The Path To Self-Actualization Is Through Your Spouse

June 7, 2011

This week we bring you another wonderful guest post by Imago Executive Director, Tim Atkinson that originally appeared on

For Jane, marriage was great once. When she was in her 20’s and even early 30’s it felt romantic and satisfying doing all the domestic things together, having kids, creating a home.

Then one day she realized that 15 years of marriage to Robert was stifling her. She didn’t know who she really was any more, except somebody else’s wife and mother. “Who am I? How do I find myself? I’m just in my forties, but my life feels over” she complained.

Robert found her new attitude terrifying. She was changing right in-front of his eyes, from contented wife to spiritual warrior. She would come home from Yoga and talk about the lonely path to self actualization. She emphasized the solitary part. “I’m not preventing you from having a self” he would say. But for Jane, she was beginning to feel the only way she could reclaim her life was to leave the marriage and breathe fresh air alone.

When the couple came to me for marriage counseling, I gave Jane a challenge. “Do you want to know the best chance to discover who you really are?” I asked her. I explained to her that being free of her relationship might help her feel better, but the best path to personal growth is actually to stay with the one you love. Being alone is emotionally easy, so it doesn’t create growth. You can just choose to hang out with people who say nice things about you, and avoid the others. It’s your significant other who has the power to push all your buttons and also give you more of what you need to heal. The trick is being able to use this experience in a positive way. If Jane left Robert, she would cut off her own potential for growth.

At the heart of Imago Couples Therapy is a belief that the purpose of committed relationships is to enable each partner to develop to their fullest potential. Even conflict, rather than being an entirely negative force, is seen as just a sign that growth is trying to happen.

Here are five steps that helped Robert and Jane build a stronger relationship and meet their deepest needs together:

1. Be clear about the purpose of your relationship

Take a while to look at your relationship as an amazing opportunity to help you both reach your full potential. Explore your differences together, in a constructive way, and you can find ways in which you can help each other to grow. The partner who is spiritual and deep can help their more emotionally reserved partner see more magic in the world. The partner who is safe and dependable can help their more extravagant partner learn to be comfortable with financial planning.

2. Create a vision for your relationship

If you are traveling a road together, it’s so much better to be pulling in the same direction. Spend some time looking at what you both most want out of your life together. Ask your partner to talk about their dreams, and without commenting on them, simply mirror back their words to show you have heard them. You will find that as the list grows some things you will both want, and some you will be happy for your partner to have.

3. Learn about non-blaming

It’s easy for Jane to blame Robert for the limitations in her life. Instead she learned about how he could be the strongest resource she has for self-growth. The Imago Dialogue offers a way to explore your differences with your partner, in a non-judgmental way. By looking at the stories and your personal histories which lie underneath conflicts, you can learn more about each other. Often that leads to finding ways you can each stretch into new ways of being, but with the full loving support of your partner.

4. Be patient.

Back to Jane, who is wrestling with some difficult issues, which aren’t going to be solved overnight. Robert would love the security of knowing that it’s all going to be alright in the end. That’s where it is important for both partners to take time to let each other know how much they love each other, whatever the outcome. One great way is through the Imago appreciation dialogue.

Robert might start by saying “Jane, I really appreciated the great meal you cooked tonight”, and Jane would reply in a way which builds a connection around that, like “I hear you appreciated that meal, thank you.”

5. Pay attention to the other’s needs

Jane is looking for a radical change in her relationship both to life and to Robert. She is feeling stifled in some way, so however hard it may feel, Robert must try to learn about what she is really needing from him, and to see how in a loving way he can stretch to meet those needs. In the same way, Jane can learn to grow by stretching to understand and meet Robert’s needs more.

This part can be particularly successful with an Imago professional who is skilled at creating safe and supportive dialogues about things which really matter. But the secret is to become really curious about your partner, and as they talk about their needs, or even their frustrations, just listen. If you speak at all, it might be to show you have heard, by repeating it back, or by gently asking them to go a little deeper and share more.

Keep your focus on what it is that is going on for your partner, and try to let go of whatever reactions you have, because they will just obscure your ability to see what it is that is happening for them. This kind of listening and acceptance is the start of  deep and loving growth.

Yes, Jane can have her life back, but together with Robert she can find ways to have it back that are both deeply loving and shared. On her Imago journey with Robert she has discovered herself more fully. She even feels more romantic just like she used to. They both feel more secure within the relationship.