New video! Nagging: The Why Behind and What To Do About It

New video! Nagging: The Why Behind and What To Do About It

We love it when productive conversation about communication in marriage happens! We’re furthering the conversation about the why behind “nagging” and what both people can do to be more productive, effective, and loving in their relationship.

We share how we've nagged and perceive nagging and how we're learning to nip nagging and engage in healthy communication, whether we have the need or we need to meet the need.

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10 Signs Your Wife Desperately Needs You to Listen to Her

10 Signs Your Wife Desperately Needs You to Listen to Her

Many of us know how we are supposed to act. We know the tenets of effective communication. We know that resentment and bitterness are bad for our health—physically and emotionally. We know that both lashing out irrationally and the silent treatment do nothing to promote growth in our marriage.

We know, and yet…

As Paul states in Romans 7:15, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”

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10 Ways Unrealistic Expectations Destroy Your Relationships

10 Ways Unrealistic Expectations Destroy Your Relationships

“Expectations kill relationships,” writes Ann Voskamp. As I ponder her words, I remember how my marriage has died a thousand little deaths. While my outlandish expectations have harmed many relationships, my poor husband has born the brunt of my affliction.

Affliction? you ask.

Yes, affliction. Because harboring unrealistic expectations is like a disease. One that chokes the life out of a relationship. It stifles the people around you, sometimes paralyzing them because they are afraid of disappointing you, failing you, angering you.

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Marriage and Community: Shouldn't this be Private? (new video)

Marriage and Community: Shouldn't this be Private? (new video)

It's kind of like the R.E.M. song, "Everybody Hurts...Sometimes," except this one would be called, "Everybody Needs Help...Sometimes." 

We need help. 

And this video is just an honest reflection of that. We're talking about 3 different types of help that married couples might need when they are going through hard times. Right now, we don't need meals and we don't need professional counseling, but we do need encouragement because this journey through grief is hard. It weighs us down and some days, we feel like it's a fight for every step, for every positive engagement, for every smile. The things that were easy and mundane now seem to take effort. And it's not all doom and gloom, for sure. But when the waves come, boy, do they come.

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The Power of Words in Marriage (from a 13 y/o's perspective) & Resources for your Walk with God

The Power of Words in Marriage (from a 13 y/o's perspective) & Resources for your Walk with God

Hi friends! My name is Abby and I’m the oldest daughter of Jen and Craig. I am so excited to be writing for all of y’all today. This week, I was just laying in bed when God talked to me about my parents. He gave me some questions to think about. But here was the big one:

How does my parents’ marriage affect me and my sister? 

You might think that your marriage affects only you and your spouse. If you think that, you’re wrong. If you don’t have children, there are other areas where your marriage can affect the people around you, but that’s for another week. 

Kids see and hear a lot more then you may think. If you’re showcasing a positive and healthy relationship when you know you’re around your kids, you think that they have the perfect vision of what married life may be like. What you don’t know, though, is that we kids are way more observant than you may think. You may be having a fight with your spouse, maybe even just with your body movement or facial expressions, and your kids can sense the tension. 

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Mindful Communication (New video!)

Mindful Communication (New video!)

That awkward silence when you walk up on a group. Eyes shifting to the ground. Whatever they were talking about, you weren't meant to hear, for whatever reason.

This is the scene in Mark 9. Jesus walks up, the disciples mouths close, their eyes downcast. They'd been caught doing something they weren't supposed to be doing—arguing about which one of them was the greatest, who had the most stature, who was the most gifted, the most right, the most _________. The content of their conversation was selfish, unfruitful, and led to division between them.

The guilt was written all over their faces and evidenced by their silence when Jesus asked them what they were talking about. They felt guilty. How do I know? I've felt the same way before. 

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Recognizing Your Spouse's Tells (new video)

Recognizing Your Spouse's Tells (new video)

Ever play poker? Play enough with the same people and your get really good at reading their tells. Same in marriage. You know someone well enough and you learn when your spouse isn't ok...despite what he/she may say. 

Last week, my grandmother died and we spent the weekend with Craig's parents. His mom is very ill and though it was an amazing visit, I left so sad. But it took Craig awhile to get me to admit it-for a variety of reasons. 

In this video, we talk about the importance of recognizing your spouse's tells and why it's beneficial to continue to pursue him/her through the denial.

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Kindness Challenge Week 1 & "Complaint" vs. "Criticism"

In this week's video, we talk about how kindness doesn't have to be hugely sacrificial, nor does it have to present itself with great extravagance. We're sharing some of our own acts of kindness...and how we knew our partner would appreciate them. We're also talking about "complaint" vs. "criticism." You're right—we're not supposed to be complaining OR criticizing our spouse this month, but chances are even though we aren't saying things, we're probably still thinking them. Watch the video below and then hop down for some definitions and idea on how you can figure out if you're complaining or criticizing.

(Knot Project note about Gottman's book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: We don't love the term complaining. Instead of complaining, as noted in the video, we use the term "feedback." Giving feedback to our spouse doesn't need to register in our heads as something like, "Oh, he's just complaining." That makes what our spouse is saying seem or feel less valid.)

Gottman's characteristics of complaint (or constructive feedback)

  • Focuses on specific behavior.
  • Has three parts: 1) Here's how I feel; 2) About a very specific situation; 3) Here's what I want/need/prefer

Gottman's characteristics of criticism

  • Global in scope.
  • Expresses feelings/opinions about the other's character or personality
  • Often contain the words "always" and/or "never."

Sometimes, we don't even realize what we're saying when we're in a (heated) disagreement. This period of 30 days is for obtaining from saying negative things, but when negative thoughts arise, we encourage you to write them down in a journal or notebook. After a few days, come back to the thoughts you scribed. Evaluate your words: Are you giving constructive feedback (voicing a legitimate complaint) or are you attacking the very character of your spouse? 

Don't worry if you realize you're criticizing—Gottman says this is a very common issue. But spend some time re-writing and re-framing what you would say so that you can begin to practice healthy communication.


 

Did you know The {K}not Project is on Pinterest? Here you can find articles and videos from our series (past and present). You can also find resources to help with addictions and prayer.

(Yes, it's still a work in progress, but, hey, what isn't??)


Give Grace: The Reality of Unrealistic Expectations

Give Grace: The Reality of Unrealistic Expectations

Jen told me the other day, “Valentine’s Day is the holiday of unrealistic expectations.” Ain’t that the truth?

Do you have secret hopes that your husband will show up with two dozen long stem roses, luscious hand-dipped strawberries in silky chocolate, and a handwritten card that expresses his sincerest appreciation and deepest attraction for you?

Movies, ads, and that one guy on Facebook (who actually does this kind of stuff for his wife) have set the bar so high that we end up disappointed when February 14th doesn’t deliver a fairy tale.

I’ve always been one to have high expectations of myself and others. The ugly truth is that I expect darn near perfection and when I don’t give it or get it, I’m frustrated.

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Give Grace: Unrealistic Expectations

Give Grace: Unrealistic Expectations

Right away you'll probably notice we are not on the video today! Let us introduce to you our friends, Katie and Adam Reid. Jen met Katie in Michigan and we've never laid eyes on Adam in real life, but as you'll see in the video, turns out, he's a pretty good guy (even if he didn't get Katie a birthday present). They are here with a  very timely video that is so appropriate for Valentine's Day week: Unrealistic Expectations! (The video cut off their goodbye, but don't worry—all the good stuff is here.)

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